Sports

Suter, Wild use three-goal third period to beat Flames 4-2

Minnesota Wild's Chris Stewart, right, celebrates his goal with teammate Marcus Foligno during second period NHL hockey action against the Calgary Flames in Calgary, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Minnesota Wild's Chris Stewart, right, celebrates his goal with teammate Marcus Foligno during second period NHL hockey action against the Calgary Flames in Calgary, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY — Minnesota defenceman Ryan Suter redeemed himself after taking a penalty that led to Calgary going ahead in the third period.

With one assist on the night already, Suter scored the tying goal and set up the game-winner to lead the Wild to a 4-2 comeback win over the Flames.

"Whenever you can help bail yourself out, it's nice," said Suter, whose long wrist shot at 10:33 eluded Mike Smith, who was partially screened by his own defenceman.

The goal tied it 2-2.

"He kinda used (Travis Hamonic) as a screen in front of me and made a pretty good shot," said Smith.

Less than two minutes later, Suter set up his defence partner Jared Spurgeon, who wired a 40-foot slap shot over Smith's shoulder and under the crossbar to give the Wild the lead.

"There was a little bit (of room)," said Spurgeon. "Our scouting staff did a good job about telling us where to shoot. I just tried to shoot it at hard as I could."

Versteeg put Calgary ahead 2-1 just 43 seconds into the third period on a two-man advantage.

Suter's slashing penalty came while they were already killing off a delay of game penalty for coach Bruce Boudreau's unsuccessful offside challenge of the Flames' tying goal with 27.5 seconds left in the second.

Smith accepted the blame for the two third-period goals he allowed.

"Ultimately, at the end there, you have to make those saves," said Smith, who has started all eight of Calgary's games. "You're there to stabilize and make those saves that your teammates rely on you to make and in a close game like that, you can't let that in from there."

Prominent in the victory was Wild goaltender Alex Stalock. With Devan Dubnyk getting a rest after starting Friday's loss in Winnipeg, Stalock made 35 saves. He was especially sharp early, keeping the game scoreless after one period despite Calgary's 18-8 edge in shots.

"We talked about that coming in. Back to back, any team is going to try and win the game in the first 10 minutes like that," said Stalock, who is 1-0-1. "We weathered the storm, we did a great job, then going into the second period 0-0, we got our legs under us and we took off."

Chris Stewart with his sixth goal in as many games and Daniel Winnik with an empty netter also scored for Minnesota (2-2-2). The injury-riddled Wild, missing the likes of Zach Parise, Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle, now return home where they'll kick off a six-game homestand on Tuesday night against Vancouver.

Sean Monahan and Kris Versteeg scored for Calgary (4-4-0), which has lost three straight at home, scoring only three goals over that span.

"It's not good enough. We need to be good here," said Versteeg. "That's something all the best teams in the league do, they have really good home records."

The Flames head onto the road next with back-to-back games with Nashville and St. Louis beginning on Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena.

Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan hopes his team can build off of what he thought was their best effort of the season, despite the final result.

"We came out with energy, we played fast," said Gulutzan. "It was our best game, in my opinion, and we have to take it as a step."

Smith, who has played every game for Calgary, had 28 saves.

Jaromir Jagr played only four shifts for Calgary, before leaving the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. He did not return.

Notes: Flames D Brett Kulak made his season debut after sitting the first seven games. C Freddie Hamilton also drew in for just the second time. Veteran C Matt Stajan was among Calgary's healthy scratches... Minnesota C Landon Ferraro (hip flexor) did not play after being injured on Friday in Winnipeg. Called up from Iowa (AHL) to take his place was Cal O'Reilly. Sent down to create room on the roster was D Mike Reilly.

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