The Vancouver Canucks snapped a six-game losing skid Saturday night, beating the visiting Calgary Flames 3-1.
Tyler Myers delivered the game-winning goal with just over five minutes left on the clock. Brandon Sutter added some insurance for the Canucks (7-11-0) with an empty-net tally, and Quinn Hughes opened the scoring with a nifty play midway through the second period. Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 43-of-45 on the night and Thatcher Demko had 18 saves for Vancouver. Sam Bennett scored for Calgary (7-5-1), with Johnny Gaudreau and Rasmus Andersson registering assists.
Vancouver’s last win came against the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 30. Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini said in a series of tweets Saturday that he supports general manager Jim Benning and coach Travis Green, despite the team’s dismal start to the season.
Sutter sealed the win with 1:23 to go in the game, delivering a long shot directly into the Calgary net 30 seconds after Markstrom was pulled in favour of an extra attacker.
Myers broke the 1-1 deadlock with just over five minutes left on the clock. The defenceman carried the puck along the wing before cutting to the middle of the offensive zone. He briefly lost control of the puck and regained it before turning and firing the puck past Markstrom to give his team a 2-1 lead.
I have full confidence in Jim, Travis, and this group. I have no plans to make changes. #WeAreAllCanucks
— Francesco Aquilini (@fr_aquilini) February 14, 2021
Vancouver dominated play through the first frame, peppering Markstrom with nine shots in the first eight minutes of the game and outshooting Calgary 20-4 across the period.
The Canucks kept the Flames hemmed in their own zone and didn’t allow Demko to be tested until 11 minutes in when he stopped a tip by Matthew Tkachuk.
Hughes finally beat Markstrom 9:27 into the second period on Vancouver’s 29th shot of the night.
The 21-year-old defenceman picked the puck off a Flames’ stick at the Calgary blue line and appeared poised to pass before releasing a bomb from the low hash marks. His second goal of the season put the Canucks up 1-0.
The lead held for less than two minutes, though, before Bennett responded for the Flames. He used a screen by Monahan down low to get snap shot from high in the slot past Demko and knot the score at 1-1.
The two sides will face off again in Vancouver on Monday.
NOTES: Calgary’s Mikael Backlund was injured clocking a shot in the first period and did not return. … Flames defenceman Connor Mackey made his NHL debut. The 24-year-old signed with Calgary last March after playing three seasons at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press