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5 THINGS - FLAMES vs. CANUCKS

Flames look to beat another Canadian divisional rival when they host the Canucks tonight

by TY PILSON @typilson / CalgaryFlames.com

FLAMES (20-15-5: 45 pts.) vs. CANUCKS (20-15-4: 44 pts.)

7:30 p.m. MT | TV: Sportsnet One/360 | RADIO: Sportsnet 960 The FAN

2019-20 season series: 1-0-0-0

All-time regular-season record: 137-92-33-17

Flames home record: 10-5-3

Canucks road record: 8-10-1

 

Video: Brendan Parker sets up tonight's clash with Canucks

 

 

Special Teams:

Flames

PP- 19.4% (15th) / PK: 85% (2nd)

Canucks

PP: 25.8% (4th) / PK: 80.3% (16th)

 

Current Leading Scorers:

Flames:

Points - Matthew Tkachuk (33)

Goals - Elias Lindholm (16)

Canucks:

Points - Elias Pettersson (41)

Goals - Pettersson (18)

 

Advanced Stats:

Flames:    

Shot Attempts: 50.43% (12th)

High-Danger Chances: 49.76% (17th)

Canucks:

Shot Attempts: 49.32% (19th)

High-Danger Chances: 49.47% (19th)

 

1. US

Anytime you win a divisional game, it's huge.

When it's against the Oilers, it's kicked up another notch.

When you accomplish the first two while skating in Edmonton in their barn, it's the cherry on top of one sweet night.

However, following practice Saturday at Winsport the Flames weren't revelling in their 5-1 drubbing of the Oilers Friday night in the provincial capital.

They enjoyed it, the two points were huge - but they were already looking ahead to the upcoming business at hand.

"Up-tempo practice," said Matthew Tkachuk after getting off the ice. "I mean, mood's how it should be - not too high, not too low. It was a good win but, I mean, it wasn't like it was a season-on-the-line type of game ... we want to have the mentality that we know we can go in there and win those games. We're confident and it's almost just another game."

It was the first of five meetings between the two rivals, which are jockeying for position atop the Pacific Division standings.

Andrew Mangiapane scored just 11 seconds into the tilt to stun the homecrowd.

Tkachuk - whose hard work helped led to Mangiapane's tally - then scored at 11:39 to make it 2-0.

Connor McDavid got the Oil on the board when he tipped a Darnell Nurse point shot with just over five minutes left in the opening stanza.

But it was all Flames after that, Sean Monahan scoring his 12th just 1:08 into the second period to restore the two-goal cushion. Then it was Lindholm with his team-leading 16th to make it 4-1.

Keeping with the theme of fast starts to begin a period, Mikael Backlund would get his fifth of the year while the Flames were short-handed a scant 57 seconds into the third. 

David Rittich was sharp all night with 29 stops.

"We wanted to come in here and play like we have on the road the last little bit and come out with a greasy win," Tkachuk told the assembled media following the victory. "I thought we did a good job of that. In the first half of the season, we played a lot of Eastern Conference teams and now we're starting to get into a stretch where we're playing a lot of divisional games and teams that are right there with us in the standings in the West. Everyone's saying that it was a 'statement game,' but I think we just wanted to come in here and play (well), score some goals, play good defence and come out with two points."

 

Video: Mangiapane, Lindholm lead Flames to 5-1 victory

 

2. THEM

When your goalie is playing lights out, good things happen.

This news flash courtesy of the Department of the Obvious.

Jacob Markstrom make a career-high 49 saves as the Canucks beat the visiting LA Kings 3-2 Saturday night.

Jake Virtanen and Tyler Motte stacked the homeside out to a 2-0 lead after the first period. 

However, the Kings didn't roll over. Captain Anze Kopitar scored in the second period and then Tyler Toffoli tallied at 6:46 of the third to knot it up.

But Elias Pettersson scored the game-winner just 19 seconds after that to put the dagger in the visitors.

"They had momentum and they had a lot of good scoring chances. We got the leading goal right away, so that was huge for us to kind of get the momentum back," Pettersson said.

Markstrom, who was starting his ninth straight game, his longest streak in the League, won his 100th NHL game and is 5-0-0 when facing at least 40 shots this season.

Canucks coach Travis Green had this to say after the win: "Well, the puck wasn't our friend tonight, that's for sure. Yeah, we fought it. We fought the puck tonight." 

 

3. US vs. THEM

The two teams met waaaaaaaaaay back on Oct. 5 in Calgary's home-opener.

The good guys skated to a 3-0 victory that night, collecting their first points of the campaign after beginning the season with a 5-4 loss to the Avalanche two days earlier in Denver.

Lindholm opened the scoring in the first period, the assist to Johnny Gaudreau .

Monahan made it 2-0 with a second-period tally, Gaudreau and Mark Giordano with the helpers.

Gaudreau iced the win with a late empty-netter in the third.

Rittich was busy in the outing, turning aside all 34 shots he faced while, at the other end, Markstrom made 27 saves.

"It's great. You always want to get off to a good start," said Gaudreau after the contest. "Not only individually, but as a team. We've found the net a couple times. Powerplay's been clicking. ... It was a good game tonight. … I think I could have found the net a couple more times. Same with Mony, same with Lindy. We had a ton of chances."

Check the video below to see the highlights:

 

Video: Gaudreau, Rittich lead Flames past Canucks

 

4. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER

THIS: With Mangiapane's goal 11 seconds into the game on Friday, he became the fifth player in Flames franchise history to score a goal in the opening 11 seconds of a regular-season game. It was also the second-fastest goal in the history of the Battle of Alberta (Petr Kilma - Oliers: Feb. 27, 1991 - 9 seconds) ... THAT: With his shorthanded goal on Friday, Backlund (134) passed Giordano (133) and is now sitting in 15th for the most goals in Flames franchise history … THE OTHER: TJ Brodie is tied with Doug Gilmour for the 14th most assists in Flames franchise history after his two-assist night on Friday in Edmonton.

 

Video: "For us, we can rely on depth of our lineup a bit"

 

5. PLAYERS TO WATCH

Flames: LW Andrew Mangiapane

He collected a career-high three points in the 5-1 victory over the Oilers and is playing his best hockey since arriving in the NHL.

"Just doing the little things," he said Friday night. "Managing the puck - that's big - and knowing who you're out against. I'm playing my game, getting confidence each and every night, and I'm playing with two really good players right now, so if I get on the puck and get open, they'll find me."

 

Canucks: C Elias Pettersson 

He scored the winner for his team just 24 hours ago and always seems to bring his A-game against the Flames. To be fair, he does that against most teams, it seems. FYI -  Vancouver is 12-2-1 this season when Pettersson scores.

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