CALGARY, Alberta — Cam Talbot prevailed in a goaltending duel and Johnny Gaudreau provided the offense for the Calgary Flames.
Gaudreau’s second-period goal was the winner as the Flames beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Thursday night.
Derek Ryan also scored for the Flames, who won their fourth straight.
Talbot made 42 saves and picked up back-to-back wins. He turned back 32 shots in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
“His positioning and his anticipation are very good right now,” Flames head coach Geoff Ward said. “I’m sure he sees anything the size of a bee-bee moving across (or) in front of him right now.
“Any time you can hold a pretty good hockey team to one goal against, it’s a good thing, you’ll take it. The fact we’ve been able to do it two games in a row is nice.”
Mats Zuccarello scored for the Wild, who are 1-3-1 in their last five.
Alex Stalock made 35 saves and assisted on Zuccarello’s goal
.”There was a lot of action at both ends,” Talbot said. “Stalock played a heck of a game as well.
“I thought we could have had a few more (goals), but those games are always fun when the other guy is making a big save and you know have to answer right back.”
Calgary remained tied for third in the Pacific Division with the Edmonton Oilers, who were 4-2 winners in Montreal on Thursday.
The Flames are at home to the Oilers on Saturday.
“We’ve got four more games before the (all-star) break,” Talbot said.
“We’re trying to separate ourselves from teams below us and catch the teams above us. These games are going to be huge coming up and it’s nice to string a few together here.”
Minnesota couldn’t solve Talbot even with Stalock pulled for an extra attacker at the end of the game.
“You can’t afford to miss as many Grade-A chances as we missed,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Talbot was good, but there were so many we just missed.
“There was no doubt if Talbot could see it, he was making the save, but definitely after the halfway mark of the second period when they took the two to one lead, they had very few chances and we had an awful lot.”
Gaudreau scored the eventual winner at 9:38 of the second period on a give-and-go with Sean Monahan. He controlled Monahan’s pass with his right skate blade and beat Stalock with a quick wrist shot from the slot.
Trailing 1-0 and outshot 17-14 after the first period, Zuccarello tied the score 38 seconds into the second.
From behind his own net, Stalock whipped the puck up ice to Zuccarello at Calgary’s blue line for a breakaway. Zuccarello beat Talbot with a high wrist shot. Stalock picked up his fourth career assist.
Ryan deflected a slap shot by Noah Hanifin for a power-play goal at 4:39 of the first period.
Wild: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.
Flames: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
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