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Flames down Canucks 4-1 in Vancouver

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

VANCOUVER, BC -- Jonas Hiller made 34 saves and the Calgary Flames defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 at Rogers Arena on Saturday.

Michael Frolik, Sean Monahan, Mikael Backlund and Sam Bennett scored for the Flames (23-25-3), who bounced back from a 2-1 home loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

Emerson Etem scored late in the third period and Ryan Miller made 26 saves for Vancouver (20-20-12), which has lost four in a row.

The Flames were nursing a 1-0 lead before Monahan's goal with 4:53 remaining in the third period gave them some breathing room.

Jiri Hudler stole the puck from Vancouver defenceman Christopher Tanev in the corner and fed Monahan in the high slot for a one-timer past Miller's blocker to put the Flames ahead 2-0.

Backlund hit the empty net with 2:15 left before Etem scored his first goal since coming to the Canucks from the New York Rangers in a mid-January trade with 1:34 left to snap Hiller's shutout. Bennett added a second empty-net goal with 36 seconds remaining, assuring the Flames of their second win in six games.

Despite playing for the second time in as many nights, Calgary outshot the Canucks 7-5 in the opening period and opened the scoring 6:25 into the second on a 3-on-2 rush after Vancouver's top defenceman Alexander Edler got caught deep in the Flames' zone. With forward Daniel Sedin taking Edler's spot on defence, Frolik completed a nice three-way passing with Backlund and TJ Brodie by driving to the net to tap in a backdoor pass from Brodie for his ninth goal of the season and first point in six games.

Hiller, making his first start in seven games, kept the Flames ahead with a couple of tough saves during the second period, when Vancouver outshot Calgary 18-9. Hiller, who stopped 73 of 77 shots in his past three starts, including a shutout Jan. 13 against the Florida Panthers, made his best saves shortly after Calgary killed a penalty late in the second period. He slid across to stop defenceman Dan Hamhuis on a redirection from the low slot and kicked out the right pad to deny Sven Baertschi on the rebound.

With Hamhuis playing his first game sustaining multiple facial fractures on Dec. 9, and Henrik Sedin and Brandon Sutter also returning from injuries in the previous two games, the Canucks were completely healthy for the first time since early November. However, good health hasn't helped their struggling offense; the Canucks were held to one goal or less for a third straight loss at home.

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