Canucks 2, Flames 1
CALGARY, Alberta (AP)—Crippled by an injury-riddled defense and a jet-lagged offense, the Vancouver Canucks showed their resiliency.
Markus Naslund and Anson Carter scored second-period goals nine seconds apart to lead the Canucks to a 2-1 win over Calgary on Tuesday night, moving Vancouver into a tie with the Flames atop the Northwest Division.
Calgary led 1-0 and seemed to be controlling the play when the complexion of the contest quickly changed.
At 18:20, Steve McCarthy’s pass to Brendan Morrison at the Flames blue-line caught Calgary on a line change. Morrison then chipped the puck to Naslund, who broke in alone and fired a high shot past Miikka Kiprusoff.
“Auld (Vancouver goalie Alex Auld) was yelling at me to throw the puck up and I just turned my head before I got it and passed it up to Mo,” said McCarthy. “I’ve certainly been on the other end when you’re tired and you’re trying to get off the ice.
“It was a great play by Alex to communicate.”
Just nine seconds later, Bryan Allen and Olympic goal medalist Daniel Sedin combined to spring Anton Carter for his 22nd of the season. Carter beat Kiprusoff with a shot from the top of the faceoff circle.
That’s all the offense Vancouver needed as Auld stopped 30 shots to improve to 26-16-3.
“We weren’t initially supposed to be up but after Naslund scored, our line usually does a pretty good job of applying pressure on our shifts and I think (coach Marc) Crawford wanted to maintain that pressure,” said Carter.
Vancouver (34-21-5) has won three straight versus its division rival after losing the first four meetings of the season.
Robyn Regehr scored the lone goal for Calgary (33-18-7).
“I don’t know if we were waiting around for the usual suspects to try and get us going or what,” Regehr said. “But winning games for us is about being strong in our own zone, being physical, and having different guys step up and provide timely offence for us and that didn’t happen tonight.”
Fresh from Sweden’s gold medal victory over Finland on Sunday, the weary Sedin twins flew 12 hours to get from Stockholm to Calgary, arriving less than four hours before the opening faceoff.
Daniel Sedin said they kept their shifts short.
“We had to, we were dying out there,” he said. “I got tired more quickly than usual but it was a great win and it feels great to be back.”
Auld was busiest in the second stopping all 14 shots he faced as Vancouver took the lead despite being outshot 14-7.
“One of those games where we had a chance to go up two goals but just didn’t do it,” said Calgary forward Darren McCarty. “We had shots and chances but our urgency in front of the net just wasn’t good enough.”
“You go down the list and everyone stepped up and played beyond what they’ve been used to in terms of minutes and different situations,” said Auld. “McCarthy was exceptional, Allen was great playing more of a defensive role, everyone played so well.”
Kiprusoff stopped 20 shots to drop to 29-15-7.
Regehr opened the scoring on the power play at 8:53 of the first.
Calgary D Bryan Marchment was back in the lineup after missing 16 games with a knee injury. Marchment’s return, along with the acquisition of D Cale Hulse from the Columbus Blue Jackets, resulted in the Flames returning D Mark Giordano back to Omaha (AHL). Recalled on Sunday, Giordano was only in town for two practices. … Vancouver C Brendan Morrison has no goals in 12 games while Calgary LW Tony Amonte is scoreless in 13 games. … Calgary’s record against divisional opponents dropped to 14-6-2 while Vancouver’s improved to 10-11-4.