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Inside The Game: Flames vs. Canucks

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

Canucks drop Flames 5-4 in overtime

CALGARY, AB -- The Vancouver Canucks have no problems playing the role of spoiler to a Pacific Division rival.

Canucks forward Mark Santorelli scored twice, including the overtime winner, to lift Vancouver 5-4 over the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.

The game was Calgary’s first at home since floodwaters devastated Southern Alberta and breached the doors of the Dome. Over 30 million gallons of water rose at the event level of the rink, submerging everything under the first eight rows of the arena.

"As an organization, we feel sorry for the crowd because the crowd was just unbelievable and there's nothing more that I would like to see my players and the crowd and the staff of this rink go back home with two points,” coach Bob Hartley said. “I felt that we had everything in the making for a great night. We'll just have to take a rain check."

The Flames nearly provided those two points to fans but couldn’t hold on to a 3-1 lead, giving up three unanswered goals to the Canucks before David Jones tied the game 4-4 with just 19 seconds remaining in the third period.

But Santorelli’s second of the night stood as the game-winner, giving the Canucks their second win in less than 24 hours.

The Flames entered the third up 2-1. That lead was quickly extended to two by 18-year-old Sean Monahan. On a 2-on-1 with Sven Baertschi, Monahan elected to keep and beat Canucks starter Eddie Lack between the legs at 1:47.

A pair of turnovers in the Calgary end allowed the Canucks back into the game.

First, Daniel Sedin intercepted a Flames pass behind the net and centered to Jannik Hansen, who made no mistake in one-timing the puck behind Joey MacDonald to make it 3-2 at 5:01. Dale Weise tied the game after taking a feed from Henrik Sedin and beating MacDonald between the pipes at 9:27.

MacDonald shut the door on the Canucks with two dazzling saves in the span of a minute, stoning Chris Higgins with a sprawling stick save with seven minutes remaining and Brad Richardson a shift later with an equally impressive glove save.

"That's my job,” MacDonald said. “You've got to come up with timely saves like that. I think we kind of build on that. That would've made it 5-3. It's a learning experience right now for us. We've got a lot of young guys and we've just got to limit turnovers and we'll be fine."

The Canucks managed one more on MacDonald with Santorelli’s first with 3:54 remaining, setting the stage for Jones’ late-game heroics before Calgary fell in overtime.

In the first game at home of the season, the Flames came out hot, but it was Vancouver who found the scoreboard first.

Just 4:47 into the game, David Booth redirected a Jason Garrison shot from the point behind MacDonald to make it 1-0. That goal was erased by captain Mark Giordano, who fired a shot over Lack’s glove at 14:32 to tie the game.

Mikael Backlund gave Calgary their first lead of the game in the second period on a breakaway, going forehand-to-backhand before sliding the puck behind Lack at 11:26 for a 2-1 lead.


Scrambling to clear the zone, Jiri Hudler upped the puck to TJ Galiardi. Galiardi one-touched the puck to spring Backlund, who beat Lack to put Calgary up 2-1 in the second period.


MacDonald’s diving stick save off Chris Higgins with seven minutes remaining kept the game within reach for Calgary and allowed Jones to eventually tie it up late in the third.


Santorelli’s overtime marker, his second of the game, ended overtime at 3:27 and gave the Canucks the victory.


"We didn't make good enough decisions I thought. It cost us. We got that third one and sort of seemed like they really started coming and got the next one and grabbed the momentum. We can't let teams grab the momentum like that, especially in our home rink. We're not happy that we gave them the points. We're happy that we had another solid effort. We should've won that game."



Five Flames extended their point-scoring streak to three games, including Monahan, Backlund, Giordano, Hudler and Lee Stempniak.


Tim Jackman and Derek Smith were healthy scratches against the Canucks. Both Mike Cammalleri (upper body) and Matt Stajan (lower body) missed the game due to injury.


The Flames return to action Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Saddledome (6 p.m. ET, TSN).

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