Dillon Dube recorded his first career hat trick and the host Calgary Flames rode a four-goal first period to a 7-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
Sean Monahan, Derek Ryan and Brett Ritchie each added one goal and one assist, while Matthew Tkachuk collected three assists and goaltender David Rittich made 29 saves for the Flames.
Calgary recorded just 15 first-period goals in its 23 previous outings this season, but dominated the opening frame before essentially coasting to victory.
Calgary’s focus was for a strong start, and it happened when Ritchie opened the scoring at 2:22. During a two-on-one rush, Ryan — in his first game back after missing 13 due to a broken finger — sent a cross-ice pass that Ritchie one-timed for his first goal of the season.
Dube’s first of the night came just 37 seconds later. Dube set up in the slot and, after taking the pass from Tkachuk, sent a short-side shot to double the lead.
Josh Norris put the visitors on the board when he crashed the net and whacked the loose puck amidst the chaos at 5:25, but the Flames pulled away for good before the intermission.
Monahan made it 3-1 when he intercepted Tim Stutzle’s neutral-zone pass attempt and worked to the slot, then ripped a shot into the top shelf at 11:56 of the frame.
Next, Josh Leivo collected this first of the season with 38.3 seconds left in the period. As he headed to the net, Leivo received a pass from Johnny Gaudreau and snapped a shot past Matt Murray for his first goal of the season.
Dube netted his second goal of the game with the only score of the second period. After getting the feed from Tkachuk, Dube converted with a backhand shot from the slot at 7:16.
Dube completed the hat trick 77 seconds into the third period. Given all kinds of time from the left circle, his short-side effort found the target.
Ottawa attempted a comeback when Artem Anisimov and Ryan Dzingel, in his first game since being re-acquired, both scored third-period goals, but Ryan quashed those hopes with his first of the season at 7:05 of the final period to round out the scoring.
The Flames had more good news. No. 1 goaltender Jacob Markstrom served as backup after missing five games due to an upper-body injury.
After surrendering four goals on 11 shots in the first period, Murray was pulled in favor of Joey Daccord, who stopped 15 shots.
–Field Level Media