The Associated Press
NEW YORK–The Calgary Flames have had trouble winning in New York in recent seasons.
Opportunistic scoring and stellar goaltending changed that on this trip.
Johnny Gaudreau and Garnet Hathaway each scored twice, and back-up goalie David Rittich made 44 saves, as the Flames snapped a six-game losing streak at Madison Square Garden with a 4-1 victory over the Rangers last night.
“I felt great and I want to say thank you to my defence,” said Rittich, who won for the second time this season as the Flames improved to 5-3-0 and scored three or more goals for the seventh-straight game.
“We know we had to be better in the third period and we got the two points.”
Mika Zibanejad scored for the Rangers, the last-place team in the Metropolitan Division at 2-5-1.
Gaudreau opened the scoring at the 17-minute mark of the first period, backhanding the puck past Henrik Lundqvist.
Sean Monahan picked up the assist.
Hathaway made it 2-0 at 12:21 of the second with his first goal this season.
Gaudreau scored again at 14:55, extending the lead to 3-0 with his fifth of the season.
Flames’ captain Mark Giordano assisted on the score, which was Gaudreau’s 300th career point.
“It’s a cool accomplishment,” the 25-year-old Gaudreau said of the milestone.
“Obviously, it makes it better with the team winning when you get an accomplishment like that, as well,” he added.
New York was coming off an overtime loss at Washington on Wednesday after winning in a shootout over Colorado the previous night.
The Rangers have had trouble scoring goals under new coach David Quinn.
The team has just 19 goals in their first eight games, including one shootout win and one in overtime, and have yet to win in regulation time.
“We have to find ways to score goals.” Quinn stressed. “We’ve got to be more tenacious with our shooting mentality.
Rittich, an undrafted 26-year-old goalie from the Czech Republic, made 12 saves in the first period, 13 in the second, and 19 in the third.
“We played better as the game went along and Ritter was great,” Hathaway said.
“To have a player like that is a big part of this team.”
Rittich’s lone blemish was Zibanejad’s power-play goal at 6:41 of the third.
Elsewhere in the NHL, Tampa Bay beat Chicago 6-3 and Buffalo doubled Anaheim 4-2.