CALGARY – Flames captain Mark Giordano celebrated his 800th NHL game on Sunday.
George had two goals and helped and attracted his career best with plus five to lead Calgary to 7-1 victory over Arizona Coyotes.
"Every time you play a turn-based game, you want to win it first," said Bill Peters, Flames coach. "When you win and you are plus five with three points, this is something you can tell your children and they will look up and hey, it wasn't a lie. Good for him."
The 35-year-old has 47 points (9 goals, 38 assists) in 45 games, putting him second between NHL defenders and five points behind Brenta Burns. His plus-36 runs the league, four better than his defense partner TJ Brodie, who was also plus five.
"It was good," said George. "Great victory for the team. We seemed to have good puck control, good movement, especially in first and third."
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At the end of the first period, Calgary moved forward for 68 seconds.
16:51 Giordano discovered a sharp angle when choosing the top corner on the short side.
"Only a real, smart, clever guy, he shows patience, allowing the screen to evolve, and suddenly, it's turned on and denied in time," said Peters.
Sixty-eight seconds later, Sean Monahan did 2-0 when he left alone and turned Johnny Gaudrea's centering pass.
Jordan's second was part of the three-goal blockage in less than three minutes of the third game that opened the game.
"One of the best captains I've been convinced has been in my career," said Flames brawler Mike Smith, who had 22 stops. "The way he competes for ice, as he is practicing, is just a testimony to being a true professional.
"Unbelievable guy off ice to be around, too. I've been here for a short time but it's not long for you to figure out what person he is and what kind of leader he is. Eight hundred games in this league that play as much as he says about the person he is and the player he is.
Recently lagging behind Red-hot David Rittich, Smith improved to 13-9-1.
It was a good outing for Smith, who had recently fought in recent games. As the first one was carefree, he slid across the fold to make Derek Stepan stop on the acrobatic.
"As a goalkeeper who feels good when you can save your team, and they can go down and benefit from our prospects. Nice to keep the winning streak and return there and feel good," said Smith.
Adin Hill went to Coyotes, ending with 19 stops. He fell to 7-5-0.
Matthew Tkachuk finished with a couple of goals and Sam Bennett also won Calgary (30-13-4). Flames has won five straight and is 8-1-1 over the last 10 years. They are the second common and lead the Pacific division by three points above San Jose sharks.
Gaudreau also helped and extended his score to eight games (8 goals, 10 assists). With 69 points in the season, he moved to second place in the league, six back to Nikita Kucherov.
Jordan Oesterle earned the only goal for Arizona (20-22-3) as Coyotes' three-game winner ended.
Rick Tocchet was not happy with his club performance.
"We play a first-place team and we can't have four or five guys out, watching," said Coyotes coach. "We had four guys who were not good tonight, and Calgary laughed after the first period."
Oesterle's goal arrived at the second round at 19:44, giving Arizona a temporary glow of hope.
"We had some good chances to take the lead, but they felt they got all the opportunities," he told Captain Coyotes, Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Notes: Calgary defenseman Travis Hamonic (family disease) was a late scraper. He was replaced by Dalton Prout … Arizona Conor Garland was a four-game gate cut … Flames improved to 22-3-0 when they won first place … Calgary in the third period is the best plus-38 goal difference.