CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Sean Monahan scores. Calgary Flames win. Repeat.
In what's quickly becoming a familiar script, the rookie sensation was at it again Friday night scoring the winner with 2:43 left in the third period to lead Calgary to a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils.
The sixth overall pick in the 2013 NHL draft, Monahan has had a strong start to his pro career with goals in four straight games.
"That's the biggest one yet," said Monahan, who turns 19 on Saturday. "It won us the game there and that's huge. We want to win as many games as we can right now, we want to have a good start and that's really big for our team right now."
Monahan also has a five-game points streak (four goals, two assists), which is the longest for a Flames rookie since 31-year-old Sergei Makarov had points in seven straight games to begin his NHL career in 1989-90, which was before the league re-wrote the rules around rookie eligibility.
"I've got to give a lot of credit to my linemates and the players I'm playing with," said Monahan, who is still eligible to return to OHL's Ottawa 67's, though the likelihood of that happening seems to decrease with every passing game.
"They're making it easy on me, putting the pucks right on my tape and in good position and fortunately enough, I'm putting them in the back of the net."
The winner was Exhibit A.
Sven Baertschi made a hit along the side boards, grabbed the loose puck and zipped a perfect pass to Monahan, who steered it behind Martin Brodeur. The 41-year-old Devils goaltender already had 29 NHL wins when Monahan was born.
"As soon as I got the puck, I was looking towards the net. I saw Jiri (Hudler), but then I saw (Monahan) back door," Baertschi said. "We were just looking at each other and I was like 'OK, there's only one thing I have to do,' get that puck right to him and there was only one stick in the way, so I passed it as hard as I could."
It is the first time since the Flames moved to Calgary in 1980 that the team has taken at least one point in each of its first five games.
"We feel good, but there are no stats right now that allows us to sit on those five games. We have 82 to play. There is still lots of hockey to be played," Flames coach Bob Hartley said.
Dennis Wideman and Mark Giordano also scored for Calgary (3-0-2) and Hudler had two assists to extend his points streak to five games. Next up for the Flames is a five-game road trip that begins Wednesday in Anaheim.