In one of the best games of Russell's seven NHL seasons, the Flames defenceman scored the game's first goal and was on the ice for all five of Calgary's goals, which were all even-strength. His career-best plus-5 helped Calgary to a badly needed 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals.
(My game story on Saturday's 5-2 victory, as filed for The Canadian Press. It's focused around Mike Cammalleri, who paced the Flames offence with two goals and an assist.)
How good of an evening was it for the native of Caroline, Alberta? Only twice before in 374 NHL games had Russell finished a game greater than plus-2. On both of those nights, which were three seasons apart, he was a plus-3:
- Mar. 23, 2013 - With St. Louis, at Edmonton, 3-0 W (defence partner was Roman Polak)
- Nov. 30, 2009 - With Columbus, vs St. Louis, 5-2 W (defence partner was Mike Commodore)
With Calgary missing the services of captain Mark Giordano for the third game in a row, the rest of the club's veteran defencemen continue to see more ice time. Russell's 27:12 was his highest haul of the season and second most minutes played in a single game in his career. With Columbus, he played 28:18 in a victory over the Edmonton Oilers back on Mar. 15, 2010.