CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Despite a depleted lineup, the Calgary Flames showed their depth and kept their winning streak going.
Oliver Kylington scored his first NHL goal and helped set up Garnet Hathaway’s tiebreaking score as the Flames beat the Nashville Predators 5-2 Saturday night for their fifth straight win.
Sean Monahan, Alan Quine and Elias Lindholm also scored to help the Pacific Division-leading Flames move one point ahead of Central-leading Nashville into first place in the Western Conference.
“We have a great team in here,” said Hathaway, who tied a career-high with his fourth goal. “When you get depth scoring and you get those guys playing as well as they are. We have roles right now and guys are stepping up.”
Hathaway put the Flames ahead 3-2 at 6:03 of the third period, neatly deflecting Matthew Tkachuk’s point shot. Kylington, a 21-year-old rookie defenseman, had the second assist on the play.
The Flames got some insurance with 7:48 left when Quine — recalled earlier in the day from the AHL’s Stockton Heat — got his first of the season off a setup from rookie defenseman Rasmus Andersson.
Quine, 25, had six NHL goals in 84 career games with the New York Islanders. He was inserted into the lineup with the Flames missing Mikael Backlund (concussion), who was injured Thursday, as well as Ryan Lomberg and captain Mark Giordano, who both received two-game suspensions from separate incidents in that same game against the Minnesota Wild.
“To play in the best league in the world is the ultimate goal. When you’re in the minors, you’re trying to give yourself an opportunity to be in that spot and I’m happy that I got that opportunity,” Quine said. “To be able to fit in and contribute, it’s a great feeling.”
Lindholm capped the scoring with an empty-netter with 3 minutes left.
Mike Smith stopped 25 shots to win his sixth straight after a rocky start to the season.
Kylington’s goal came 1:12 into the game when he took a pass from Lindholm and fired a rising shot over Predators goalie Juuse Saros.
“Amazing feeling,” said Kylington, the Flames’ second-round pick in the 2015 draft. “When I got it off my stick I had a good feeling, and when I saw the puck in the back of the net, a happy feeling, obviously.”
His first goal and point came in his seventh career game.
“Seeing our guys smile like that is a proud moment as a coach,” Flames coach Bill Peters said. “Kylington has been working towards that goal his whole life and to see him get rewarded after all the hours on the ice and off the ice is special.”
Colton Sissons and Craig Smith scored for the Predators, who fell to 0-5-1 in their last six on the road. Saros finished with 20 saves.
“We gave them too much,” Craig Smith said. “They capitalized on a lot of quick turnovers. We’re going to have to go back and look at the tape and make some adjustments again and correct it.”
The Predators tied it 1-1 in the final minute of the first when Roman Josi carried the puck down the wing and feathered a pass in front thatSissons neatly tipped past Mike Smith.
Monahan restored Calgary’s lead late in the second when he was left with a free path to the front of the net and he scored his team-leading 18th on a backhand.
Craig Smith tied it 2-2 early in the third on a wrist shot from a bad angle that dribbled through Mike Smith.
“I think the effort was there. It’s just a game of inches, a couple bounces here and there,” said Saros.
NOTES: Josi has 10 assists in his last 12 games. … Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau had two assists to extend his points streak to seven games. .. Lindholm, who also had an assist, increased his points streak to six games. … The Flames’ Mark Jankowski played in his 100th career game. … Calgary improved to 14-2-0 when scoring first. .
Predators:: Host Ottawa on Tuesday night to open a three-game homestand.
Flames: At Edmonton on Sunday.
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