The Calgary Flames finally lost a game in regulation Saturday night.
Mikael Samuelsson scored twice midway through the second period to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-2 victory against the Flames at Rogers Arena. It was Calgary's first regulation loss in 11 games.
Alex Burrows also scored twice, one of them into an empty net, and Mason Raymond added two assists for the Canucks (36-11-9), who maintained their lead atop the NHL standings with their seventh victory in eight games.
Roberto Luongo made 24 saves to improve to 16-0-5 in his past 21 games.
"Our penalty kill has been good all year and come up big in crucial situations and no different tonight, said Luongo, who remains unbeaten in regulation since Dec. 5 (16-0-5).
"It was a playoff game where you give up a couple power-play goals and don't get any, that was the difference in the game," Calgary coach Brent Sutter said. "In our last 23 games that's what, four regulation losses, so it's been a pretty good run here and now we just get recharged."
Samuelsson is red-hot for the Canucks with 14 points, seven of them goals, in his past eight games.
With the Canucks trailing 2-1 and on their heels in the second period, Samuelsson took control of the game in a 2:40 span.
He took a feed from Raymond in the slot, spun and whipped a wrist shot past a screened Miikka Kiprusoff to tie it.
Samuelsson struck again on a power play minutes later, slapping the puck through Kiprusoff's legs with Daniel Sedin providing the distraction in front. It was Samuelsson's 300th point in 595 career games.
"My second goal would never go in," Samuelsson said of Sedin parking himself in front of Miikka Kiprusoff. "It's not about only the goal scored. That's even more important, get in front or finish hits or whatever it is. It's not all about the points and the goals.
"I'm not only here to score goals, but when it doesn't go in for you, what are you going to do?" added Samuelsson, who had one assist in his previous 14 contests. "You gotta stick with it and believe in yourself. Everybody is important to the team and not everyone puts points up."
The Flames, playing their second game in as many nights, made a charge in the third period on the strength of three consecutive power plays. Rene Bourque hit the post on a man advantage, while Luongo stoned Olli Jokinen with a blocker save with six minutes remaining and Matt Stajan on a 2-on-1 with 3:48 to go.
Burrows put the game away with an empty-netter with 42 seconds remaining.
The Canucks were buoyed by the return of Sami Salo on their suddenly depleted blue-line, which is without Dan Hamhuis (concussion), Keith Ballard (knee) and Alex Edler (lower back) for an extended period.
Salo, who suffered a torn Achilles during a floor hockey game in the off-season, was given a loud cheer when his name was announced in the starting lineup. He played about 15 minutes in a pairing with Christian Ehrhoff.
Salo also logged time on the second power-play unit and took an interference penalty in the third period.
"Obviously special teams were key tonight when they had their biggest push," Salo said. "Once I started to play solid minutes I felt a little better."
Jackman was left alone in the slot and beat Luongo for his third goal in three games to make it 1-1 2:11 into the second period.
Brendan Morrison outworked Andrew Alberts two minutes later, centering the puck to Glencross who beat Luongo low to the blocker side to give Calgary a 2-1 lead. Glencross has goals in four straight games.
The Canucks led 1-0 after the first period thanks to Burrows' first special-teams goal of the season. He parked himself at the side of the net on the power play and swatted Raymond's pass into the open net to extend his points streak to nine games (8 goals, 3 assists), the longest active streak in the League.
Manny Malhotra assisted on the goal for his first point in 20 games. He added another assist on the empty-net tally.
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
|PPG - Alexandre Burrows (16) ASST: Mason Raymond (19), Manny Malhotra (12)|
1 - 0 VAN
|Tim Jackman (10) ASST: Matt Stajan (21), Anton Babchuk (19)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Curtis Glencross (17) ASST: Brendan Morrison (26), Jarome Iginla (31)|
2 - 1 CGY
|Mikael Samuelsson (14) ASST: Mason Raymond (20), Kevin Bieksa (13)|
2 - 2 Tie
|PPG - Mikael Samuelsson (15) ASST: Christian Ehrhoff (23), Daniel Sedin (44)|
3 - 2 VAN
|EN - Alexandre Burrows (17) ASST: Aaron Rome (3), Manny Malhotra (13)|
4 - 2 VAN
|Olli Jokinen Hooking against Mason Raymond|
|Steve Staios Tripping against Ryan Kesler|
|Anton Babchuk Interference against Tanner Glass|
|Daniel Sedin Holding against Robyn Regehr|
|Manny Malhotra Hooking against Lance Bouma|
|Sami Salo Interference against David Moss|