CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Dillon Dube got his first career hat trick and the Calgary Flames beat the Ottawa Senators 7-3 on Thursday night.
“It feels good, but anything at this time, with our division right now, I think winning is kind of everything and that makes it feel even better,” the 22-year-old said.
“If you lost the game and you get that, it doesn’t mean anything. To be able to get the win with it feels really good, especially here at home.”
Despite the win, Calgary fired coach Geoff Ward after the game and hired Darryl Suter, who previously coached the Flames from 2002-06.
Sean Monahan, Derek Ryan and Brett Ritchie each had a goal and an assist for Calgary. Josh Leivo also scored, and Matthew Tkachuk had three assists.
David Rittich made 29 saves in his sixth straight start for the Flames. He’s gone 3-2-1 in that span.
Josh Norris had a goal and an assist for the Senators in their second straight loss since beating the Flames 5-1 at home Monday. Artem Anisimov and Ryan Dzingel also scored.
“Looked to me like we had no legs certainly at the start and right on through looked like we were skating uphill,” Senators coach D.J. Smith said.
After giving up four goals on 11 shots in the first period, Ottawa starter Matt Murray was replaced by Joey Daccord for the remaining 40 minutes. Daccord turned away 15-of-18 shots.
The Flames have played four straight games against Ottawa — the Senators broke up the run with a loss to Montreal on Tuesday. Calgary and Ottawa are 2-2 with five games remaining this season in their series. The winner in each of the first four has scored at least five goals.
Dube completed his hat trick 1:17 into the third period to give the Flames a 6-1 lead. The 22-year-old whipped the puck from the faceoff circle between Daccord’s pad and stick off a cross-ice pass from Tkachuk. With no fans in attendance, backup goalie Jacob Markstrom threw his ballcap on the ice.
“Markie throwing his hat, I appreciate it,” Dube said. “I picked it up for him and gave it back. I didn’t want it to get too wet.”
Tkachuk also assisted on Dube’s first two goals. His pass from the corner set up Dube’s rifle over Murray’s stick in the first period, and he fed him from behind the goal line in the second. Dube had time to go forehand-backhand on the latter for a 5-1 lead.
Flames F Sam Bennett was a healthy scratch Thursday. … Calgary G Jacob Markstrom dressed after sitting out five games with a lower-body injury.
Senators: At Calgary on Sunday night.
Flames: At Edmonton on Saturday night.
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