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Flames burn Canucks on Friday

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Linemates Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik and Joe Colborne each had a goal and an assist, and Jonas Hiller made 26 saves to help the Calgary Flames to a 5-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.

Mark Giordano and Josh Jooris scored, and TJ Brodie had three assists for the Flames (26-28-3), who ended a three-game losing streak.

Adam Cracknell and Jake Virtanen scored for the Canucks (22-24-12), who have lost four in a row, each by a 5-2 score.

Backlund started a three-goal second period that helped Calgary overcome a 2-1 deficit.

Jacob Markstrom stopped initial shots from Frolik and Colborne, but Backlund chipped a third attempt over the Canucks goaltender to tie the game 2:07 into the period.

Frolik's backhand from the slot 3:27 later hit Vancouver defenceman Matt Bartkowski before slipping through Markstrom's five-hole to give the Flames a 3-2 lead.

Markstrom stopped Dougie Hamilton on a breakaway with a pad save at 12:53, and Sean Monahan with a sliding, cross-crease save at 15:08 to keep the Canucks within one. But with 24.9 seconds left, Giordano took a pass from Brodie and one-timed a shot that deflected off Vancouver defenceman Ben Hutton and went past Markstrom to put Calgary up 4-2.

Off the rush, Jooris redirected a cross-ice pass from Lance Bouma over Markstrom to extend the lead to 5-2 at 3:01 of the third. With an assist on the play, Jakub Nakladal earned his first NHL point.

Hiller made a toe save off a deke from Sven Baertschi on a breakaway at 10:08, and spun around in his crease to make another off Daniel Sedin at 12:26 as part of a six-save period.

Colborne scored on the game's first shot. After a stretch pass from Brodie, Backlund weaved through the slot and dropped the puck to Colborne, who beat Markstrom over the blocker to give Calgary a 1-0 lead at 1:41.

Cracknell tied the game nine minutes later. Jannik Hansen outbattled Brodie in Calgary's end before poking the puck to Cracknell, who sent a shot past Hiller's blocker from 25 feet at 10:41 to tie the game.

Vancouver took the lead with 4:13 remaining in the period. Virtanen, in his first NHL game in Calgary, stripped the puck from Hamilton and shook off a check from Sam Bennett before skating into the high slot and scoring over Hiller's glove to put the Canucks up 2-1. Virtanen spent parts of four seasons with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League.

The Canucks open a five-game homestand against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday, the same day the Flames start a two-game road trip against the Anaheim Ducks.

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