ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – J.T. Miller buried the game-winning goal Monday as the Vancouver Canucks topped the Calgary Flames 4-2 in pre-season action in Abbotsford, B.C.
Conor Garland, Chase Wouters and Tanner Pearson also scored for the home side, while Oliver Ekman-Larsson registered a pair of assists.
Calgary’s goals came from Dillon Dube and Connor Mackey.
Michael DiPietro — who spent much of last season on the Canucks’ taxi squad — was solid in net for Vancouver with 25 saves.
Adam Werner stopped 13-of-16 shots for the Flames before being replaced midway through the second period. Daniel Vladar had 12 saves in relief.
The Canucks came into Monday’s matchup after opening the pre-season with a 5-3 loss to the Seattle Kraken in Spokane, Wash., on Sunday. The Edmonton Oilers blanked the Flames 4-0 in Calgary the same night.
Vancouver jumped out to a three-goal lead Monday but the Flames battled back with two strikes of their own in the second frame.
Pearson gave the Canucks some insurance 13:31 into the third period, picking up a drop pass from Ekman-Larsson and riffling it in past Vladar to make it 4-2.
The Flames pulled the goalie in a bid to make a late comeback but couldn’t finish with the extra attacker.
Mackey cut Calgary’s deficit to 3-2 with less than a minute to go in the second period, sneaking a shot past Di Pietro from the blue line.
The Flames’ first tally of the night came on a two-man advantage earlier in the frame.
Canucks captain Bo Horvat was sent to the box for cross checking at 10:59 and his teammates steadily worked to kill off the penalty until defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson was sanctioned for the same offence in front of the net. Boos emanated from the crowd as the Flames were given 23 seconds of five-on-three hockey.
Dube scored 11 seconds in with a long bomb through DiPietro’s legs.
The Flames were 1-for-3 on the power play Monday, while the Canucks went 2-for-3 with the man advantage.
A pair of power-play goals helped Vancouver to a 3-0 lead after the first period.
Calgary’s Andrew Mangiapane was called for cross-checking at the Canuck’s bench 15:18 into the opening frame and the home team wasted little time in capitalizing.
A scramble in front of the Flames’ net saw Horvat blast a shot at Werner and the rebound pop out to Miller, who fired it back in over the past the netminder at 15:34.
Three minutes earlier, Vancouver’s Jonah Gadjovich streaked deep into Calgary territory, out waited a sprawled out Juuso Valimaki, then dished the puck to Wouters from the goal line. The 21-year-old forward popped a shot in from the low slot to give the Canucks a 2-0 lead.
A pair of new additions teamed up for Vancouver’s first strike of the night after Flames centre Glenn Gawdin was called for high-sticking 1:41 into the game.
Stationed at the top of the slot, Garland sent a shot screaming through heavy traffic and found the back of the net to open the scoring at 2:28.
Ekman-Larsson was credited with an assist on the play.
Arizona dealt the duo to Vancouver in July in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2021 NHL entry draft. The Coyotes also received veteran forwards Jay Beagle, Loui Eriksson and Antoine Roussel in the deal, as well as the Canucks’ second-round pick in 2022 and its seventh-round pick in 2023.
The Flames are set to host the Seattle Kraken Wednesday. The Canucks get a brief reprieve before heading to Alberta for a rematch with Calgary on Friday.
NOTES: Vancouver moved its American Hockey League affiliate to Abbotsford earlier this year. The team — known as the Abbotsford Canucks — is set to play their first game against the Bakersfield Condors on Oct. 16. … Pre-game ceremonies marked the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation which is being marked for the first time on Friday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 27, 2021.
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