Calgary Flames secure a place in the playoffs Edmonton Oilers Arizona Coyotes

CALGARI – A place in the NHL playoffs secured in the hours before the fall of the puck on Saturday, the Calgary Flames turned the quiet start of the game into a celebration of goals in a 9-1 defeat to visiting Arizona Coyotes.

Johnny Godreau and Matthew Tkachuk scored twice and made two assists for the Flames, while Elias Lindholm also scored four points and three assists in the evening.

Calgary missed the only point needed to secure a trip to post-season Thursday in a 6-1 loss to Vegas Golden Knights.

It was their main rival, Edmonton Oilers, who helped close Calgary in the post-season Saturday by beating Knights 4-0 in the regulations before the puck fell to Calgary Seddollum.

The Flames, 46-20-9 at the top of the Pacific Division, became the third Western Conference club to win a place in the playoffs after Colorado Avalanche on April 6 and the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

“It’s really hard to get to the playoffs,” said Flams head coach Daryl Sutter. “Only half of the teams in the league do that. We made it to the playoffs with two weeks left until the end of the season.”

Avalanche secured first place in the Western Conference on Saturday with a 7-4 victory over Carolina Hurricanes.

Calgary have seven games left in their regular season, including two at home.

“We still have a lot to play,” Tkachuk said. “We know that we are now in a position where we will play with a team that will play well in the playoffs to succeed. The ice at home is huge. We play for it and we try to play well hockey goes into it. “

Arizona scored in the first minute of the game and took a 1-0 lead after a period, but the flames erupted for four goals in an interval of two minutes and 33 seconds, starting 38 seconds in the second period.

Four goals in three minutes and 11 seconds were the third fastest four goals at the start of an NHL history and the fastest in 45 years, according to the league.

“It was exciting not only for us. You think the fans are passionate. We were excited,” Godro said. “At the moment it’s just a three-goal game and we had to keep pushing.”

As the Flames continued to fill Arizona’s web, Saddledome chanted “we want 10.”

The night with four points of Godro increased his total number to 105 this season. Tkachuk and Lindholm scored their 39th goals, and Godroe – 36th before 16.823. The last Flame to reach the 40-goal mark in one season was Jarom Iginla in 2010-11.

Dylan Dubet also scored twice with other goal scorers Andrew Mangiapane and Blake Coleman Calgary. Flams starter Jacob Markström stopped 25 of 26 shots for the win after being drawn in two consecutive games for Dan Vladar.

“I wanted Markström to be sharp, above all, to get the whole game under his belt, didn’t he,” Sutter said. “I don’t invest much in the first period or the rest of it to be completely honest. It was about winning a match.”

Nick Richie answered for Arizona (22-48-5), playing the string in the NHL basement.

The start of the Coyotes Harry Satteri was drawn for Karel Weimelka after conceding four goals in four shots to start the second period, but returned to the game and stopped 24 of a total of 31 shots in the loss.

Weimelka deflected 8 of 10 shots in 16:49 minutes.

“Obviously goalkeeping is a problem for them,” Sutter said. – They used one person twice.

After losing the Stanley Cup final in seven games to Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 – with Suther also behind the Calgary bench at the time – the Flames came out of the playoffs in the first round seven times and were sent off in the second round in 2015.

Calgary missed the playoffs in 2021.

“This is a huge achievement for our team from at least one year to this year,” Godro said. “I’m proud of the boys in the locker room, but the work is starting now.

“We have to try to put ourselves in a good place for the rest of the year. Maybe we should try to get ice for most of the playoffs, if we can, and prepare for the first round.”

The Coyotes scored 30 seconds after the first person in their first shot of the match, which was their first goal in the first minute of the match this season.

NOTES: The Flame record for the fastest four goals scored is one minute 21 seconds, set by Theo Florey, Gary Sutter, Chris Lindbergh and Ron Stern in a 1993 match against San Jose Sharks … Flames defender Nikita Zadorov reached 100 career points with the first of his two assists … Mangiapane’s two points gave him 51 this season, which is the peak of his career.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 16, 2022.