CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Logan Thompson’s triumphant return for Vegas was overshadowed by another injury.
Before he departed with just over six minutes to go, Thompson made 37 saves as the surging Golden Knights beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Thursday night.
“Right now, obviously concerned about Logan,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Obviously, Logan missing that much time, we’ll have to look closely at that one.”
It was unknown if the latest setback is related to the lower-body injury he suffered on Feb. 9.
“I don’t know what happened, to be honest. He just got up and left,” Cassidy said. “He knows his body. I have no idea. At the end of the day, let’s hope it’s not related to the previous injury and it’s something that will be short term.”
Up 3-2 at the time, Jonathan Quick came in and turned aside all five shots he faced as Calgary poured on the pressure in search of the tying goal.
“It doesn’t happen really often but when he got out there (Quick) made a couple really good saves to keep us in the game,” Vegas forward Ivan Barbashev said.
The best chance came off the stick of MacKenzie Weegar with a minute to go but he couldn’t beat Quick from 30 feet out.
“I saw the net and I missed my shot,” the Flames defenseman said. “If there was one chance I can get back all year, it would be that one.”
Nicolas Roy scored for Vegas (45-21-6) in his return from an 18-game absence. Jonathan Marchessault and Michael Amadio also scored.
Milan Lucic and Nazem Kadri scored for Calgary (32-26-15). Jacob Markstrom stopped 29 shots in his 11th start in the last 12 games.
In avenging their 7-2 home loss to the Flames last week, the Golden Knights earned their seventh win in eight games and improved to 16-3-2 in their last 21 overall.
Vegas opened a four-point cushion on the Los Angeles Kings atop the Pacific Division.
It was a tough blow for Calgary’s flickering playoff hopes. The Flames dropped six points back of Winnipeg for the second wild card in the Western Conference.
It was Calgary’s 27th one-goal loss this year, which leads the NHL.
“We’re in every game, and we have a chance to win every game we’re playing, so it obviously makes it more frustrating that we lose and it feels like we’re always losing by that one goal,” Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson said.
“I don’t know how many games I’ve played back in my head thinking that ‘Ah, I should have scored that’ or ‘How did we not score that’ and we would have been in a different situation, but it’s the reality.”
Up 2-1 entering the third period, Vegas got some breathing room at 5:19 when pressure by Roy created a defensive zone turnover by Rasmus Andersson. Roy then went to the net, received a pass from Phil Kessel and fired a shot over Markstrom.
The Flames pulled within one at 12:33 when Kadri ended his 16-game goal drought with a power-play marker, but that’s as close as they would get.
Calgary fell to 0-18-3 when trailing after two periods.
Vegas, which entered the night having outscored teams 70-45 in the first period this year, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening frame.
Jack Eichel sprung Marchessault and Ivan Barbashev on a 2-on-1, with Marchessault patiently holding onto the puck before whipping a shot past Markstrom high on his blocker side at 11:43.
Then Amadio got free and rattled in his own rebound at 15:23.
Lucic cut the deficit in half with 58 seconds left in the frame. Walker Duehr hustled up the ice after a turnover, fended off some back pressure and zipped a cross-ice pass to Lucic, who sent the puck just under the crossbar and in.
SHOW OF SUPPORT
The Flames wore #SnowyStrong stickers on the back of their helmets in support of assistant general manager Chris Snow’s ongoing battle with ALS.
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith had his career-best point streak snapped at nine games (four goals, 11 assists). It equaled the franchise best, also held by Alex Tuch, Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty.
Golden Knights: Travel to Edmonton to face Connor McDavid and the Oilers on Saturday night.
Flames: Host the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
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