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Canucks 3, Flames 1 @NHLdotcom

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - Anson Carter and the Sedin twins took care of most of the offense while scrappy Ryan Kesler provided the spark the Vancouver Canucks needed.

Henrik Sedin scored a goal and had an assist and Daniel Sedin added three assists as the brothers led Vancouver to a 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.

Carter also had a goal and an assist for Vancouver, which moved past Calgary and into first place in the Northwest Division.

``They're playing really well,'' Kesler said. ``They're fun to watch out there and it helps our team a lot when we have a line going like that.''

Kesler scored the game-winning goal on a feed from Daniel Sedin late in the second period, but it was a spirited first-period fight with Flames captain Jarome Iginla that brought the Canucks to life.

``I didn't know he was a fighter, but I guess he proved me wrong,'' said Kesler, who didn't mind sitting for five minutes with Iginla. ``I'm a third-liner and he's a superstar. The trade off was definitely in favor of us.''

Vancouver coach Marc Crawford earned his 400th NHL win.

``He did really well in that (fight),'' Crawford said of Kesler. ``I thought he played a heck of a game as well. When you get those types of efforts, it's really pleasing for the team.''

Vancouver's Alex Auld, who stopped 28 shots, thought the fight gave the Canucks a boost.

``That was huge,'' Auld said. ``He stepped up in a huge way tonight with that fight and a big goal.''

It was the third straight victory for the Canucks, who lost the first three games of a seven-game road trip that wraps up Saturday night in Edmonton.

Iginla scored for the Flames, who lost their third straight game.

``Chin up. Let's go,'' Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. ``This doesn't change anything. Remember I said from the outset, the team we need to stay with and now that we really need to stay with is Vancouver.''

On the heels of a pair of lackluster shootout losses to the St. Louis Blues and the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Flames came out strong against their divisional rivals.

On his first shift, Iginla tipped a point shot by Robyn Regehr on net, but Auld stopped it.

The Flames took a 1-0 with just 8.8 seconds left in the first period when Iginla blasted a point shot that trickled through Auld's legs during a two-man advantage.

``He got a good shot away on the 5-on-3 and I just couldn't squeeze it,'' Auld said.

Vancouver had a chance to tie the game early in the second when Alexandre Burrows was awarded a penalty shot after being hauled down on a partial breakaway by Flames defenseman Rhett Warrener.

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped Burrows to preserve the lead for a while longer.

Iginla said Calgary has to find was to generate more scoring chances.

``Offensively, we're not going as well as we can as a group,'' he said. ``We've got to score more than one goal. Kipper's played so well for us and tonight again, they were some chances and it's a combination of putting one more of those in but also getting more chances.''

The Canucks tied the game when Carter picked up a loose puck in the slot and snapped a quick wrist shot past Kiprusoff during a Vancouver power play.

Kesler then put the Canucks up 2-1 with a wrist shot with 46 seconds to play in the second period.

In the third, Daniel Sedin spotted Henrik open in the slot and made a perfect cross-ice pass to his brother, who blasted the puck into the top corner over Kiprusoff's shoulder.

Kiprusoff made 19 saves.

Notes: Mike Leclerc, acquired in a trade on Wednesday, made his debut in a Flames uniform and started on a line with Iginla and Matthew Lombardi ... The previous five games between the Flames and Canucks were all decided by one goal, with Calgary winning five in a row before a 4-3 overtime loss in Vancouver on Jan. 7.

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