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Posted On Friday, 04.24.2015 / 6:35 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Flames confident they'll close out Canucks in Game 6

CALGARY -- After the Calgary Flames failed to close out the Vancouver Canucks in Game 5 of their Western Conference First Round series in Vancouver on Thursday, Mikael Backlund said there is "no way" the Flames will lose Game 6 at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Calgary forward didn't shy away from the comment Friday.

"I didn't guarantee anything," Backlund said. "All I said was that there's no way we're going to lose, and that's the mindset we need to have going into the game. There's no guarantees in life, so why would I guarantee something?"

The guarantee isn't there, but the confidence is.

Ahead 3-2 in the best-of-7 series and with an opportunity to clinch on home ice is a scenario the Flames are more than happy to be in heading into Game 6 on Saturday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).


Posted On Wednesday, 04.22.2015 / 5:21 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Flames understand fourth win will be toughest

CALGARY -- It's a cliché the Calgary Flames haven't been in a situation to dust off in quite some time, but one they will repeat constantly heading into Game 5 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Vancouver Canucks.

The fourth win is the toughest to get.

Ahead 3-1 as the series returns to Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Thursday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, CNBC, TVA Sports), the Flames understand the challenge that lies ahead.

The last one, they say, is the hardest.

"So I've heard," said rookie forward Josh Jooris, participating in his first Stanley Cup Playoffs. "The fourth one is definitely hardest. Their backs are against the wall now. It's a good position to be in but I think we've got to take care of our business, play a solid road game, play the same way we've been playing, and hopefully get the job done."

Posted On Tuesday, 04.21.2015 / 3:54 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Canucks' Baertschi recalled, could make playoff debut

CALGARY -- Vancouver Canucks forward Sven Baertschi could make his debut in the Stanley Cup Playoffs against his former team.

Baertschi, selected in the first round (No. 13) in the 2011 NHL Draft by the Calgary Flames, was recalled from the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League and could play for Vancouver in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round best-of-7 series that resumes Tuesday at Scotiabank Saddledome (10 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, TVA Sports).

"He'll be here tonight," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. "It'll be a game-time decision if we are using him or not."

Posted On Tuesday, 04.21.2015 / 3:44 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Flames look to defend home ice, take 3-1 series lead

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames took home ice in Vancouver. They're hoping to keep it heading back.

Up 2-1 on the Vancouver Canucks, the Flames look to put a stranglehold on the series heading into Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round best-of-7 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, TVA Sports).

"It's the first team that wins four," coach Bob Hartley said. "We did part of the job going to Vancouver and taking Game 1. So technically, for what it's worth right now, we have home-ice advantage. It's up to us to use it. If we win tonight then we're using it. If we lose tonight, we're giving it right back and we're starting a best-of-3.

"This is a pivotal game for both teams. They're all important games, so once again I think we are going to see a great game."

Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 5:45 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Canucks expect more discipline in Game 4

CALGARY -- Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa is expecting a more disciplined approach Tuesday in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round against the Calgary Flames will yield better results.

"I'm not worried about it. I think we're a pretty disciplined team," said Bieksa, who was assessed seven minutes in penalties Sunday in the 4-2 loss against the Flames in Game 3. "Obviously in the third period we were on the wrong end of some penalties and they capitalized and scored that extra goal to kind of put the game out of reach for us. It's playoff hockey. We've got to be smart. We've got to be on the right end of those calls."

The Canucks were assessed seven minor penalties, two fighting majors and a 10-minute misconduct in the loss. In all, 35 minutes in penalties were assessed to Vancouver in the third period.

But despite a physical end to the previous two meetings, Bieksa expects a calmer Game 4 on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, TVA Sports).

Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 4:59 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Bennett, Ferland among rookies to spark Flames

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames' inexperience was the biggest question about them heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

But with a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference First Round against the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary's most inexperienced players have provided its biggest sparks.

"I knew it was going to take some time for everybody to kind of grow into the playoffs," Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller said. "But at the same time, I think a lot of young guys had already taken over lots of leadership in this group during the regular season, especially with having guys out, hurt, so the young guys had to step up. At this point, that definitely helps because they already have been in the situation where they have more responsibilities.

"Now, they can prove it again."

Game 4 is Tuesday in Calgary (10 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, TVA Sports).


Posted On Sunday, 04.19.2015 / 4:01 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Flames GM supports Hartley, players, looks forward

CALGARY -- With his focus on looking ahead Sunday, Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving threw his support behind coach Bob Hartley.

“We stand behind our coach and players 100 percent with the events of Friday night,” Treliving said. “That incident is behind us, our focus is on tonight and we will move forward.”

Hartley was fined $50,000 for his responsibility for the incident that took place with 1:17 remaining in regulation of Game 2 of their best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series against the Vancouver Canucks.

Posted On Sunday, 04.19.2015 / 3:47 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Canucks hope to continue road success in Game 3

CALGARY -- The Vancouver Canucks said they are aware of what a hot crowd can do for the home team, so they're hoping to cancel out Calgary Flames fans at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Having enjoyed home ice to open the Western Conference First Round series, the Canucks are looking to silence Flames fans early in Game 3 on Sunday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"I expect they are going to be going crazy," Vancouver forward Shawn Matthias said. "It's going to be loud, but we can't let it overwhelm us. We've got to focus on our process and our game plan. Obviously, when we first go out there it's going to be a bit overwhelming but we've got to get that out of our mind right away. I think for us, the key is the start and trying to get them out of the game early.

"It's definitely going to be loud."

Posted On Sunday, 04.19.2015 / 3:07 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Flames counting on top line to spark offense

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames hope home ice can help them take a 2-1 series lead against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3 of their best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series.

But they'll need more from their top line to take advantage.

Over their final 31 regular-season games, Calgary's trio of Jiri Hudler, Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan combined for 92 points. They have two assists -- each coming on a late power play with Game 2 out of reach -- eight shots on goal against Vancouver goaltender Eddie Lack and a combined minus-10-rating through the first two games.

"We're not too worried about our lack of success right now," said Monahan, who had 31 goals and 62 points in 81 regular-season games. "The crowd is going to be going tonight and I think we are going to feed off of that, and that's going to help us get going.

"It felt like it was coming and we know what we need to do to be better. We talked about it and we're going to have fun by doing that."

Game 3 is Sunday at Scotiabank Saddledome (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Posted On Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 4:39 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Flames forward Bennett likely to play in Game 3

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames rookie forward Sam Bennett said Saturday he feels good enough to be in the lineup for Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Bennett left in the second period of a 4-1 loss to the Canucks in Game 2 on Friday after a collision with Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler.

"It was just a bump, maybe knocked the wind out of me a bit," said Bennett, who returned in the third period but was limited to three shifts. "I'm fine now, 100 percent fine. That won't be a problem. Definitely there are times to finish your checks and times to pick your spots. I think ultimately you've got to finish your checks if you want to play, and that's what I'm going to keep trying to do."

The Flames said Bennett was evaluated following the collision and was cleared to return; he played 1:59 in three third-period shifts.

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