Elias Lindholm’s 3-point game helps Flames deal Canucks 2nd loss in 9 games
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Elias Lindholm had a goal and two assists and Jonathan Huberdeau ended an 11-game scoring drought, leading the Calgary Flames to a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.
Mackenzie Weegar, Dillon Dube and Noah Hanifin also scored for Calgary (6-8-2), which improved to 4-1-1 in its last six games. Huberdeau added an assist.
Jacob Markstrom made 20 saves and improved to 4-6-1 on the season.
Elias Pettersson and Nils Hoglander scored for Vancouver (12-4-1), which lost for just the second time in nine games. Casey DeSmith finished with 34 saves in his first loss of the season.
Vancouver defenseman Filip Hronek had his 11-game point streak snapped.
“I think we were tired. It caught up to us,” Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said. “The second half of the game, listen, they didn’t quit. I got no problem. But you’ve got to learn how to play tired. You’ve got to manage the puck a little more.”
The Canucks were coming off a 4-3 overtime victory against the Islanders on Wednesday night.
“It’s easy to say but keep it simple, I think,” Hoglander said. “We had a lot of turnovers today. We learn and do better next game.”
After Vancouver opened the scoring midway through the first period, the Flames scored the next four goals.
Calgary pulled even at 17:53 when Weegar took a drop pass from AJ Greer and ripped a 40-foot wrist shot over DeSmith’s blocker.
The Flames took their first lead at 10:49 of the second when Rasmus Andersson’s slap shot squeaked through DeSmith’s pads and Dube reached behind him to knock it over the line.
Calgary increased its lead to 3-1 with 36 seconds remaining in the period. In what proved to be the eventual winner, Hanifin carried the puck deep into the Canucks’ end and scored with a shot inside the far post.
But the biggest ovation – and celebration — of the night came 5:53 into the third period when Huberdeau got a pass from Backlund and zipped a shot under the crossbar.
Huberdeau, who is in the second season of an $84 million, eight-year deal, entered with just seven points in 15 games. Two seasons ago, he had a 115-point season with the Florida Panthers.
“Obviously, it felt good. It’s been a while,” Huberdeau said. “It was good to finally get a goal and a big win for us.”
Dube said it was nice to see Huberdeau get rewarded for the work he puts in.
“His attitude coming to the rink, every day he’s positive and tries to get better,” Dube said.
After Hoglander’s goal at 10:06 cut Calgary’s lead to 4-2, Huberdeau assisted on Lindholm’s empty netter at 18:08. Lindholm had also been struggling, having gone pointless in nine of his last 10 games.
Off to its fastest start in franchise history, Vancouver opened the scoring at 9:36 on a power play. Pettersson’s one-timer from the faceoff dot completed a slick passing sequence with Quinn Hughes and JT Miller.
Canucks: Host the Seattle Kraken on Saturday.
Flames: Host the New York Islanders on Saturday.
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