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Gaudreau hits 40, Flames fall to Wild in OT



Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames have one more shot at earning head coach Darryl Sutter NHL win No. 700.

But Thursday night’s overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild is going to haunt defenceman Rasmus Andersson for at least a night.

The Flames star blueliner got caught covering the puck with his hand in overtime, leading to a four-on-three advantage for the Wild.

Kirill Kaprizov quickly ended it with a rocket one-timer.

Andersson snapped his stick on the bench, but he won’t have much time to fume. They have less than 24 hours until puck drop with their season finale in Winnipeg on Friday.

There were some good moments in the 3-2 loss, however.

Johnny Gaudreau hit the 40-goal milestone early in the second period to give the Flames the 1-0 lead. Elias Lindholm scored late to send the game to extra time with his 42nd of the season.

“It was cool,” Gaudreau said after the game. “Obviously it got our team kickstarted in the second. Cool thing to do. Unfortunately it wasn’t the outcome we wanted as a team.”

It’s the third time the Calgary Flames have had at least three 40-goal scorers (Matthew Tkachuk being the third). The first group to do it was Joe Nieuwendyk (51), Hakan Loob (50), Mike Bullard (48), and Joey Mullen (40) in 1987-88. Gary Roberts (41), Theo Fleury (40), and Warren Reichel (40) did it in 1993-94.

Goaltender Jacob Markstrom made some big saves during the contest and showed no rust after taking a couple of games off. He had no chance at stopping the winner and made 22 saves in his playoff warmup.

It remains to be seen whether Sutter rests any of his regulars in the finale, with a first-round series expected to start against either the Nashville Predators or Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

With 115 points, Gaudreau is second in the Art Ross Trophy race — well behind Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid.

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