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Tkachuk scores three, Gaudreau passes 100-point mark as Flames down Kraken 5-3

CALGARY — Johnny Gaudreau's major milestone sparked a big third period comeback for the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.
Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13) celebrates 100th point of the season with teammate left wing Matthew Tkachuk during third period NHL hockey action against the Seattle Kraken in Calgary on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

CALGARY — Johnny Gaudreau's major milestone sparked a big third period comeback for the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.

Gaudreau had two assists to give him 101 points, Matthew Tkachuk scored three goals to set a career high in a season with 37, and the Flames roared back from a 3-1 deficit with four third-period goals in a 5-3 win over the Seattle Kraken.

Outplayed through 40 minutes, which prompted coach Darryl Sutter to juggle his lines and switch his goaltender, the Flames responded quickly in the third period.

On a four-on-three power play, Tkachuk's attempted pass hit Adam Larsson and bounced right back to him, and he swatted in his second goal of the night at 3:10 of the third.

Gaudreau had the primary assist to reach the 100-point mark and eclipse his previous career-best of 99 points in 2018-19.

“It's cool,” said Gaudreau. “I just made a little pass down to Chucky and he tried to go seam to (Elias Lindholm) and it bounced right back to him and fired it in the net. It was a big one.”

Tkachuk turned to Gaudreau and gave him a big hug after the milestone point as the Saddledome crowd roared. His parents Guy and Jane, who just arrived in Calgary for the first time since before the pandemic, hugged and celebrated with family members in the crowd.

“I'm sure my mom and dad were pretty excited. They hadn't been out here in probably three years,” said Gaudreau. “My dad's probably going to tell me I didn't play the best game, but he's going to be happy for me and it's exciting to have him here.”

Gaudreau is the seventh player in franchise history to get 100 points and first since Theoren Fleury in 1992-93.

“I know us, as linemates and teammates, would be lying to you if we said we weren't trying to get it for him and thinking about it for most of the last couple of games when he's sitting at 99,” said Tkachuk. “It's pretty cool to be linked to that with him, so that's very cool for me and it just speaks to the year he's having ... and we're not done yet.”

After Andrew Mangipane banged in his 31st goal from the top of the crease at 5:33, red-hot Noah Hanifin ripped a slapshot into the top corner on a power play at 14:10 for the game-winner.

The defenceman has seven points (one goal, six assists) in the last three games.

Tkachuk capped off his second career hat-trick with an empty-net goal, also assisted by Gaudreau, in the final minute.

“You've got to win third periods," Sutter said. "They're not always going to be great, but you've got to try and win the third period. Win the third period, you're going to win hockey games." 

Calgary (45-19-9), which has won five in a row, can clinch a playoff spot on Thursday with a win over Vegas.

Ryan Donato, with his career-high 15th goal, Victor Rask and Adam Larsson scored for Seattle (23-44-6), which was swept in the four-game season series.

The Kraken return home after Wednesday's game in Winnipeg was postponed due to a winter storm. Seattle returns to action on Saturday when they play host to the New Jersey Devils.

Dan Vladar (11-5-1) started the third period in goal and stopped all seven shots he faced in relief of Jacob Markstrom to pick up the win. His best stop was a blocker save on Karson Kuhlman on a short-handed breakaway that would have made it 4-2.

Markstrom stopped 12 of 15 shots.

Chris Driedger (7-12-1) had 26 stops for the Kraken.

Seattle opened the scoring at 14:13 of the first period on a perfect set up from rookie Matty Beniers, making his NHL debut.

Beniers got the puck at the sideboards and zipped a pass across the slot that was one-timed past Markstrom by Donato.

"I was excited about how it went,” said Beniers, 19. “I was playing with two great players. They made it pretty easy on me. I thought we did a good job tonight. Just tough. You want to come out with that win."

Beniers a Hobey Baker finalist and second-overall pick in the 2021 NHL draft, signed with Seattle on Monday, shortly after Michigan lost to Denver on Thursday in the semifinal of the NCAA Frozen Four.

His night began with the customary rookie solo lap before the rest of the Kraken took the ice for warm-up. He then spent the night centring the club's top line with Donato and Jordan Eberle.

"His hockey sense and his ability to know and understand what's around him on the ice showed to be excellent tonight,” said Kraken coach Dave Hakstol. “Most importantly, I thought he just really showed good poise throughout the entire day, on the ice, off the ice.”

Notes: In addition to Fleury (twice), Calgary's other 100-point seasons came from Kent Nilsson (twice), Joe Mullen, Hakan Loob, Al MacInnis and Mike Bullard... Calgary C Calle Jarnkrok (non-COVID illness) returned after missing five games. His return bumped Ryan Carpenter to the press box... Flames improve to 2-12-2 in games in which they trail after two periods.

Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press