Kuzmenko scores in SO to give Canucks 4-3 win over Flames
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Andrei Kuzmenko scored the only goal of the shootout and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 Wednesday night for their sixth straight road win.
Bo Horvat, Conor Garland and Sheldon Dries scored in regulation for the Canucks who gave up an early two-goal lead and had to come back to tie the score. Nils Hoglander had two assists and Spencer Martin stopped 35 shots to improve to 9-3-1.
“I was proud of the way we played tonight,” Horvat said. “It’s a tough building to come into, they got a good team over there. Obviously, I’d like to not give up a two-goal lead but at the same time we didn’t panic. In previous games or early in the year, we might have a little panic in our game, Dries scored a big goal and I thought we did a good job after that, kind of limiting their Grade-As. Overall, it was a great game and Marty was fantastic.”
Mikael Backlund, Andrew Mangiapane and Trevor Lewis scored for Calgary, which lost its fourth straight overall — third straight beyond regulation — and fell to 6-1-1 in its last eight at home. Dillon Dube had two assists and Jacob Markstrom finished with 24 saves.
“Big point for us,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. “A little bad luck early. I thought we had a really good start and they scored a deflection goal and a lost-coverage goal quick. I thought we were pretty resilient and battled back.”
Kuzmenko scored on the Canucks’ first attempt of the tiebreaker, firing a shot over Markstrom’s glove. Dube and Backlund both missed on Flames’ final two attempts to give Vancouver the win.
“Just trying to time it depth-wise and meet them at their decision point and let them make a move and hold my edges,” Martin said of Calgary’s three tries in the shootout.
In overtime, Markstrom denied Ilya Mikheyev on a breakaway with a minute remaining to keep it tied.
Horvat and Garland scored 34 seconds apart to give Vancouver a 2-0 lead less than 2 minutes into the game. Horvat deflected a Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s shot from the left point past Markstrom at 1:14 for his 21st to get the Canucks on the board. Garland got the puck near the left corner and beat Markstrom from the left circle for his fifth at 1:48.
With the Flames on the power play, Backlund redirected a feed from Dube at 9:40 for his sixth to make it 2-1.
Mangiapane tied it with 3:51 remaining in the first as he quickly scored from the left circle off a pass from Nazem Kadri from behind the goal. It was Mangiapane’s seventh.
“Obviously not ideal to be down 2-0 right away,” Markstrom said. “Leaving the first period tied hockey game was a great effort by us and unfortunately we can’t get the win.”
Lewis put the Flames ahead 3-2 at 3:51 of the second as he banked his own rebound from a sharp angle off Martin’s glove and in for his sixth.
Dries tied it from the left circle on a Canucks rush off a pass from Hoglander to tie it at 5:31 of the middle period with his third.
After a road trip in which Calgary was short-handed 20 times in three games, the parade to the penalty box continued in the first period. The Canucks went on the power play twice. The Flames have been short-handed 115 times, tied for second-most behind Edmonton (116). St. Louis has been short-handed the fewest times at 65.
Flames D MacKenzie Weegar (non-COVID illness) returned after missing one game while D Chris Tanev (upper body) sat out after taking a shot to the side of the head in Montreal on Monday. Calgary also got C Elias Lindholm (upper body) back after a one-game absence and inserted RW Brett Ritchie for rookie forward Matthew Phillips. ... For the Canucks, F Brock Boeser (non-COVID illness) did not play, which opened up a spot for Dries’ return.
Canucks: Host Winnipeg on Saturday night to open a three-game homestand.
Flames: Host St. Louis on Friday night to wrap up a two-game homestand.
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