CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - Make it two wins in as many games for Calgary Flames interim head coach Geoff Ward.
Elias Lindholm scored the deciding goal late in the third period and added an empty-netter, leading the Flames to a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
Ward was also a winner on Wednesday night, when Calgary beat Buffalo 3-2 in overtime.
Calgary head coach Bill Peters resigned on Friday amid allegations of racial slurs and physical abuse of players in previous jobs. Peters’ resignation came after a lengthy process that included investigations by the Flames and the NHL.
“The group’s been real resilient this week. They’ve found ways to pull together and it’s evident on the bench tonight,” said Ward, who has never previously been an NHL head coach.
Dillon Dube also scored for Calgary (13-12-4). The Flames improved to 3-0-1 in their last four games.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau had his team-leading 14th goal for Ottawa (11-15-1), which lost its fourth straight. The Senators have scored just four goals in that span.
David Rittich made 26 saves and improved to 12-7-4. He was making his sixth consecutive start and league-high 23rd start for the season.
Marcus Hogberg had 24 saves for Ottawa in his first start of the season and the fifth of his career.
“I think he played real solid the whole way,” said Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot. “He made some big saves, that (Johnny Gaudreau) breakaway there, and plenty more during the game. We were lucky to have him. He was ready for it, ready for the challenge, and he played real well.”
The Senators’ third round pick in 2013, Hogberg is up from Belleville of the American Hockey League while Craig Anderson (lower body) is sidelined. Anderson is not expected to be out long, but Hogberg got some game action with Anders Nilsson having played Friday night in Ottawa’s 7-2 loss in Minnesota.
Lindholm’s 13th goal of the season came less than a minute after Pageau had tied it.
Sean Monahan backhanded the puck high in the air and over defenseman Ron Hainsey, who put his arm up, but couldn’t reach it. As it landed behind him, Lindholm was there and quickly fired the puck over the shoulder of Hogberg.
“He made a great play at the net to get that puck up from where he was,” Ward said. “We’ve talked about it a lot. When there’s not ice in front of you, get the puck behind and skate onto it.”
Pageau ruined Rittich’s bid for a shutout at 14:49 when he burst down the right side and fired a puck over the Czech goaltender’s shoulder.
Forced to pull the goalie while on a penalty kill, Lindholm rounded out the scoring with his 14th goal of the season.
The Flames opened the scoring late in the first period. Artem Anisimov won a defensive zone face-off against Milan Lucic, but in pulling it back on his backhand, the puck glanced off the skate of Anthony Duclair and went right to Dube, who kicked the puck from his skate to his stick and sent a backhand past Hogberg.
NOTES: Monahan played in career game No. 500. … Calgary D Travis Hamonic (lower body) and RW Austin Czarnik (lower body) are back practicing and both are expected back soon. They’ve missed six and 17 games, respectively.
Senators: At Vancouver on Tuesday.
Flames: Host Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.
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