VANCOUVER, BC -- First strike? The Vancouver Canucks.
Ryan Miller made 44 saves and Markus Granlund had two goals and an assist to power the Canucks to a 4-2 win, their sixth straight victory, against the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena on Friday.
"We played a good game," captain Mark Giordano said. "We generated a lot of offence. But we can definitely pinpoint the mistakes. The goals we gave up were turnovers, bad reads, whatever you want to call it. When a team's on a winning streak like that you know that they're feeling good and good things are happening for them.
"They showed us tonight."
Michael Chaput and Loui Eriksson also scored for Vancouver, who move into the second wild card from the Western Conference and one point behind Calgary.
Michael Frolik scored twice and Brian Elliott finished with nine saves for the Flames, who will meet the Canucks again at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday to complete the back-to-back, home-and-home series.
"That'll be the challenge is to play this way," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "They're rolling. They're feeling good about themselves. I thought they capitalized on their opportunities. But we're going to continue to play the same way.
"We've got to come out strong again."
Calgary's 46 shots are a season-high for the Flames; Vancouver's 13 shots against are the least allowed by the Flames this season. According to Elias, the victory for the Canucks marks the largest single-game shot differential (-33) in a game Vancouver has won in franchise history. Calgary finished with 84 shot attempts to the Canucks' 22.
"Just a few bad mistakes … we didn't give them much but when we did we turned it over a few times and played right into their hands on their goals," Giordano said. "For the most part I thought we generated a lot of chances. We had a lot of good looks. Sometimes you've got to give the other team's goalie credit too. He made some big saves at critical times. When they had chances they capitalized.
"We got guilty a few times of giving them unnecessary chances by turning it over and they made us pay."
Frolik scored on Calgary's first shot to give Calgary a 1-0 lead just 1:18 into the game. He tapped a cross-crease pass from Mikael Backlund by Miller. Backlund extended his point streak to six straight games with the assist. He has six goals and four assists in that span.
Video: CGY@VAN: Backlund sets up Frolik for an early tally
Matthew Tkachuk also earned an assist on the play to extend his point streak to eight games (one goal, eight assists). It's the longest streak by a Flames rookie since Joe Nieuwendyk had points in 16 straight games in the 1987-88 season.
Lance Bouma looked to double the lead at 8:48, but his goal was disallowed because the referee determined that Matt Stajan made incidental contact with Miller before the puck crossed the goal line. Gulutzan unsuccessfully changed the ruling.
"I was weighing the fact that we're up 2-0 if it goes, if not I lose my timeout," Gulutzan said. "Sitting here now at the end of the game if I didn't call it I'd be kicking myself with the outcome of the game. I knew it was 50/50. Our players knew it was 50/50. I think that could've taken the crowd out of it and got us going.
"It didn't go our way.
"I thought we still had lots of chances to respond."
Vancouver followed by scoring twice in a 2:18 span to start a run of four unanswered goals.
Chaput took a return pass from Jack Skille and beat Elliott with a shot under his arm at 10:49, and Eriksson's pass on a 2-on-1 deflected off the pants of Tyler Wotherspoon and into the net at 13:07.
"When they called back the goal it changed momentum a little bit," Elliott said. "I don't think that's goalie interference. They came back and scored a couple. Lucky bounce off the d-man's back-end there. It's a tough game when we're generating chances. We hit a couple posts and their goalie played well.
"That type of hockey that we played in an 82-game season that will be successful."
Granlund scored on the power play to put the Canucks up 3-1 21.8 seconds remaining in the second. He took a cross-ice pass and shot by Elliott's glove. He scored again 3:18 into the third period when he deflected a point shot by Nikita Tryamkin over Elliott's glove to put Vancouver up 4-1.
Frolik netted his second goal to cut the lead to 4-2 at 18:17 on Calgary's 45th shot when he slid the rebound on a blocked shot by a downed Miller.
Video: CGY@VAN: Frolik nets second of the game on power play
"Everything they got was Grade A," Elliott said. "Just have to try to stay mentally in it. It's not easy, but if we play like we did tonight and limit a couple turnovers I think that'll be successful."
NOTES: Tkachuk was the only Flames player to not record a shot in the game. Dennis Wideman and Sean Monahan led the game with five shots each. Mark Giordano led the game with five hits. Dougie Hamilton played in NHL game No. 300. Defenceman Jyrki Jokipakka will be a healthy scratch for a second straight game and third time in the past six after playing the previous 11. Forward Garnet Hathaway was also scratched.
UP NEXT: The Flames host the Canucks at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday (8:00 PM MT; CBC, SN, SN960).