SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Mikael Backlund had an empty-net goal and a pair of assists, helping lift the Calgary Flames to their sixth straight victory with a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Friday night.
Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk and Sean Monahan also scored for the Flames, and David Rittich stopped 41 shots in his first start in seven games.
Evgenii Dadanov scored both goals for the Panthers, breaking a 19-game goal drought. James Reimer made 25 saves in his 16th consecutive start, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Panthers from their fourth loss in five games.
Tkachuk put Calgary ahead 2-1 on his goal at 10:38 of the second period when Travis Hamonic’s shot bounced off Reimer’s right skate and Tkachuk poked in the rebound.
Gaudreau stretched the Flames’ lead to 3-1 on his power-play goal with 3:45 left in the second. Gaudreau’s shot from the left circle went under Reimer’s arm, off the post and into the net.
The Panthers closed to 3-2 on Dadanov’s second goal with 6:57 left in the third. Dadanov fired a shot from the right side that beat Rittich.
Backlund’s empty-netter with 45.1 seconds remaining sealed the win for the Flames.
Dadanov gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead on his power-play goal at 27 seconds into the second. Jonathan Huberdeau passed from the right side to Dadanov in the slot and fired a wrist shot past Rittich.
The Flames tied it a 1 just 33 seconds later on Monahan’s goal. Monahan took a backhanded pass from Dougie Hamilton in the high slot and one-timed the puck past Reimer for his team-leading 21st goal.
NOTES: Flames forward Jaromir Jagr missed his fifth straight game with a lower-body injury. … Gaudreau leads the Flames with 52 points. … Panthers C Aleksander Barkov was named to the All-Star game on Thursday, the only Panthers player who will participate in the game on Jan. 28.
Flames: Visit Carolina on Sunday.
Panthers: Host Vegas next Friday night.