VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)—The Vancouver Canucks got one goal from a familiar source, and three more from unlikely ones.
“You look at the scoring we got from some unlikely sources tonight—that’s very, very positive,” Canucks coach Marc Crawford said. “It certainly wasn’t textbook, but a lot of the things we’ve been talking about and preaching, about getting a little more balance in our group, came through tonight.”
So did the power play, as Vancouver converted its first two chances for a 2-0 first period lead.
First, Brendan Morrison drew a pair of defenders behind the net and threaded a perfect pass to Bertuzzi at the top of the crease, where he one-timed a shot past Turek.
Then the fourth line went to work for Vancouver.
Chubarov doubled the lead with a second left in the second power play, pouncing on a loose puck in the high slot and lifting a shot over Turek. The goalie was lying prone on the ice after a scramble in the crease with Brad May.
“Our guys did a great job in front of the net, that’s why we scored,” Chubarov said.
Chris Clark made it 2-1 with a power play goal at 15:16 of the second, but Ruutu restored the two-goal cushion less than three minutes later. Ruutu redirected Marek Malik’s slap pass after some nice work by Chubarov and May to keep possession of the puck.
“That was a big team effort, one of the better ones we’ve ever had,” Ruutu said. “Obviously, our top line gets a lot of attention, but they deserve it. It’s nice for them not to have the pressure on and not to have to score every night. We have to spread it around a little.”
King, who surprised many by making the team, rounded out the scoring midway through the third after a pretty passing play between identical twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin turned a three-on-two at the blue line into a two-on-none in front of the net.
“It was one of those plays I just needed to get open and those guys made a great heads-up play,” said King, who failed to score in eight games with Vancouver last year. “I was probably a little disappointed not to get it last year, but it s a great way to start the season.
Turek finished with 22 saves for Calgary.
“We weren’t good enough,” new Flames captain Jarome Iginla said. “The way last year ended, the way the preseason ended, we got into the habit of competing a little harder—the backcheck, the forecheck, the emotion—it wasn’t there for us tonight.”
The Canucks finished 2-for-5 on the power play. Calgary was 1-for-2.
Vancouver center Mats Lindgren, who missed parts of last season with a back injury, was a surprise scratch. Veteran Mike Keane, who signed with the Canuckson Wednesday, and summer free agent signing Jiri Slegr were also scratched.
The Canucks staged a pregame tribute to former coach Roger Neilson, who died in June. They also held a moment of silence for Atlanta forward Dan Snyder, who was killed in a car accident. … Bertuzzi, whose contract expires after this season, said in the preseason that negotiations on an extension would end when the season started. But Canucks general manager Brian Burke said after the first period the deadline had been extended. … The Flames were 2-1-2 against Vancouver last season despite finishing 29 points behind them inthe standings. Their only loss was also in the opening game.