Flames fire franchise-record 62 shots on goal in rout of Blue Jackets

Ben Jackson / National Hockey League / Getty

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Matthew Tkachuk scored twice and the Calgary Flames fired a team-record 62 shots on goal in trouncing the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-0 Wednesday night.

It was the most by a visiting team in a regular-season game since the NHL started tracking shots on goal in 1955-56, according to STATS.

Jacob Markstrom made 23 saves for his 13th career shutout, sending the Blue Jackets to their third straight loss and fourth in a row at home. Calgary bombarded Columbus goalie Elvis Merzlikins, who stopped 56 shots.

“That’s 60 minutes of really well-played hockey,” Markstrom said. “The guys played great.”

Andrew Mangiapane, Mikael Backlund, Elias Lindholm and Erik Gudbranson added goals for the Flames, who have won three of four. Johnny Gaudreau had three assists.

Markstrom is undefeated in four starts against Columbus, and the Flames have won the last five matchups between the teams.

“You don’t have to dissect this,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. “They were the better team. They had the puck all night. We were not nearly good enough.

“Guys are trying. It certainly wasn’t good enough.”

Backlund got the scoring started at 4:21 of the first period, beating Merzlikins stick side for his fourth goal of the season and first since Nov. 21.

Mangiapane made it 2-0 at 15:14 with a deflection that stood after a replay challenge for a high stick. It was his 19th of the season, 18 of which have come on the road.

Tkachuk’s shot with 5.2 seconds left in the second put Calgary up 3-0.

“They scored some highlight goals for sure,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. “Johnny was full control of the puck when Matthew was going to the net, and when you look, that’s a big goal that he scores. That gives you such an advantage, and that’s a slick play that he scores on.”

Columbus failed to get a shot on goal in the second until 8:50 remained in the period. Merzlikins faced 39 shots through two.

Calgary made it 4-0 just 30 seconds into the third when Lindholm converted Gaudreau’s rebound.

Gudbranson’s shot from the blue line at 6:55, his first goal of the season, made it 5-0. Tkachuk scored his team-leading 20th at 7:36.

Gaudreau extended his point streak to six games and leads the Flames with 35 assists to go with 16 goals.

MARKING MILESTONES

Lindholm’s goal was the 400th point of his career and extended his point streak to four games. ... Mangiapane’s goal marked his 100th career point.

LONG TIME, NO SEE

It was the first meeting between the teams since Calgary won at home in overtime on March 4, 2020. The Flames last visited Nationwide Arena on Nov. 2, 2019.

INJURY UPDATE

Columbus forward Alexandre Texier left in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return. Larson said Texier will be out “a little bit.”

FLAMES ON FIRE

Gaudreau and Tkachuk have combined for 22 points in the last four games. Tkachuk has four goals and eight assists, while Gaudreau has one goal and nine assists.

OVERMATCHED

Columbus has been outscored 24-7 in its last four games. ... The 23 shots Merlikins faced in the second were the most given up by Columbus in a period this season.

CLEARED

Adam Boqvist returned from COVID-19 protocol, giving the Blue Jackets no players on the list.

HE SAID IT

“It’s almost easy to play well when the team is playing well. There are certain times in the season, and this is one of those times, the team is not playing great and I have to look at that and be the guy who sparks the team. I am frustrated with how I played.” — Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski.

UP NEXT

Flames: At the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.

Blue Jackets: Host the first-place New York Rangers on Thursday.

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Flames fire franchise-record 62 shots on goal in rout of Blue Jackets
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