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game recap

Canucks rally to beat Flames 4-3

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

NHL.com

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Canucks rally to beat Flames 4-3
Vancouver Canucks 4, Calgary Flames 3
If this was a preview of a first-round playoff series in the Western Conference, fans are in for a treat.

NHL leading scorer Daniel Sedin had a pair of goals and an assist Saturday night as Vancouver overcame an early 2-0 deficit to defeat the Calgary Flames 4-3 at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Tied 3-3 late in the second, Vancouver took the lead for the first time when its No. 1-ranked power play struck for the second time in as many opportunities. Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff's shot through a crowd caromed sharply off Ryan Kesler in front and went right to Sedin, who buried his second goal of the period.

"Every player has a few buildings where they feel at home and this was a tough building for me for the first four-five years in my career but the last little while, it's been a good building for us," Sedin said after establishing a career-high with his 37th goal of the season. He scored 36 in 2006-07.

The win capped off a perfect 5-0 road trip for the Canucks, who appear to have regained their form after alternating wins and losses through most of February. Both Daniel and brother Henrik, who had a pair of assists Saturday, built five-game points streaks during the trip, amassing 19 points between them.

"Before the trip, we were struggling putting pucks in the net so it was nice to be able to score a few goals," aid Daniel Sedin, who racked up 5 goals and 5 assists. Henrik had 1 goal and 8 assists.

Added Canucks coach Alain Vigneault: "You can't count on the same players every night, but you need your best to be your best and the twins were real good tonight."

Kesler and Alex Burrows also scored for Vancouver (45-16-9), which also got three assists from Ehrhoff. Mikael Backlund, Matt Stajan and David Moss replied for the Flames (36-26-9). Calgary lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Jan. 3 and 5.

The clash between the top two teams in the NHL since Christmas had a playoff feel as the Flames face a desperate battle for a postseason spot in the congested Western Conference.

Calgary remains in the top eight in the West, but just barely. Nashville is ninth, one point back with two games in hand. Two points back but with three games in hand are the 10th-place Anaheim Ducks.

"We weren't good enough defensively and the top line made us pay," Moss said after the Flames missed a chance to jump from eighth to fourth. "This time of year versus a team like that, you can't have that many breakdowns and you have to play a complete game. We tried to turn it on in the third, but it's too little too late."

Vancouver, meanwhile, sits a comfortable 18 points up on the second-place Flames in the Northwest Division and is eight points up on Philadelphia for top spot in the League.

"We went through a little bit of a bump in the road there but we're back on the right track," Kesler said.

Calgary's best opportunity to tie the game in the third came late in the period, but the Flames couldn't capitalize with the man advantage.

On a chance earlier in the period, Jarome Iginla led a 3-on-1 rush but his centering pass caromed off the skate of Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis and slid harmlessly into the corner.

"To be up 2-0 is a great start on a Saturday night against these guys at home, but we know they have a lot of firepower," Iginla said. "They got that important first power play goal to settle it down because we were in control until then."

The Flames led 2-1 after the first period but Daniel Sedin tied it at 9:46 of the second on a Calgary defensive lapse. With the puck in the corner, Sedin skated through the slot uncovered before firing a shot past Miikka Kiprusoff.

Calgary regained the lead 66 seconds later when Moss jammed a puck past Roberto Luongo from a scramble.

Vancouver tied it again at 15:41 when Burrows scored his 20th, deflecting Daniel Sedin's low slap shot into the net.

Calgary entered the night without a goal in the last 111:19, but that drought ended at 2:14 of the first period on a highlight-reel effort from Backlund. The 21-year-old Swede stripped the puck from Mikael Samuelsson and broke in alone on Luongo, zipping a backhand into the top corner to snap a 14-game goal drought.

With the sellout crowd of 19,289 still buzzing, the Flames made it 2-0 at 3:32 when Stajan knocked a rebound past Luongo for his sixth goal and first in 12 games.

"The first five minutes of the game, we weren't good. But it speaks to our leadership that we didn't panic," Kesler said. "We knew what we had to do, we knew the challenge that we were up against. From there on out, we controlled the tempo and the pace of the game."

Vancouver got on the scoreboard at 8:48 when Kesler snapped a 11-game drought with his 34th of the season.

Kiprusoff, who finished with 28 saves, was back in goal for the Flames after getting a night off in Calgary's 3-0 loss in Phoenix on Thursday. That ended a run of 22 consecutive starts.

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.

scoring summary
1st Period
02:14
CGY
Mikael Backlund (8) ASST: NONE
1 - 0 CGY
03:32
CGY
Matt Stajan (6) ASST: Tom Kostopoulos (6), Cory Sarich (12)
2 - 0 CGY
08:48
VAN
PPG - Ryan Kesler (34) ASST: Mikael Samuelsson (29), Henrik Sedin (66)
2 - 1 CGY
2nd Period
09:46
VAN
Daniel Sedin (36) ASST: Henrik Sedin (67), Christian Ehrhoff (32)
2 - 2 Tie
10:52
CGY
David Moss (17) ASST: Jarome Iginla (37), Alex Tanguay (37)
3 - 2 CGY
15:41
VAN
Alexandre Burrows (20) ASST: Daniel Sedin (52), Christian Ehrhoff (33)
3 - 3 Tie
19:44
VAN
PPG - Daniel Sedin (37) ASST: Ryan Kesler (28), Christian Ehrhoff (34)
4 - 3 VAN
3rd Period
NONE
penalty summary
1st Period
08:16
CGY
Mark Giordano  Hooking against  Mikael Samuelsson
19:01
VAN
Dan Hamhuis  Holding the stick against  Niklas Hagman
2nd Period
19:07
CGY
Rene Bourque  Tripping against  Keith Ballard
3rd Period
16:51
VAN
Henrik Sedin  Hooking against  Alex Tanguay
goalie stats
Roberto Luongo
SA: 23TOI: 60:00
Saves: 20EV: 20 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: .870SH: 0 - 0
Miikka Kiprusoff
SA: 32TOI: 58:44
Saves: 28EV: 24 - 26
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 4
SV%: .875SH: 2 - 2