Matthew Tkachuk scored 31st and 32nd goals in his first career five-point game Friday to lead the Calgary Flames to a 5-1 victory over the New York Rangers.
Tkachuk scored 10 points (six goals, four assists) on the Flames' perfect 3-0-0 mark, which brought Calgary back to first place in the Pacific Division ahead of San Jose. The series of hot spots comes after a long period of cold which has earned him six points in the previous 18 games.
Using his match in hand in San Jose, Calgary took a one-point lead over the Sharks with 11 games to come. The Flames are also leading the Western Conference, nine points clear of the Winnipeg Jets, which Calgary will face Saturday night.
Johnny Gaudreau, Garnet Hathaway and Michael Frolik also scored for Calgary (44-20-7).
Neal Pionk scored for New York (28-30-13), who has not won his last six games on the road. The Rangers conclude a four-game road trip (0-1-2) in Minnesota on Saturday.
Tkachuk tied for 1-1 after 20 minutes, giving the Flames the lead for 2:56 into the second when he deflected Mark Giordano's shot on Alexandar Georgiev.
A little over a minute later, Tkachuk got his hundredth career help, placing Hathaway ahead to bring the score to 3-1.
That's all the offensive support needed for David Rittich, who ruled out 24 shots to move to 25-7-5.
Georgiev made 27 saves to fall to 10-12-3.
Gaudreau opened the scoring by scoring 10 minutes into the first period thanks to a superb pass from Tkachuk.
Looking more like a football quarterback, Tkachuk threw a 95-foot deep pass that landed on Gaudreau's stick, putting him on a breakaway. After an evening of three goals and six points on Tuesday, Gaudreau stayed warm, making a kind gesture before sliding the puck between Georgiev's leggings for his 34th goal in the lead of the team.
The Rangers tied 70 seconds later, when Ryan Strome found Pionk was late and the defender shot in the post.
The Flames put the game aside in the third period. Tkachuk's third assist in setting up Frolik raised the score to 4-1 at 5:12. He completed the mark by converting Mikael Backlund's pass at 9:49.