Flames Outscore Canucks For 5-4 OT Win, Pettersson Extends Career-High Point Streak To 14 Games


Anthony Beauvillier #72 of the Vancouver Canucks scores a goal on Jacob Markstrom #25 of the Calgary Flames during the second period of their NHL game. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

March 31, 2023

VANCOUVER — Tyler Toffoli scored his second goal at 3:27 of overtime, and the Calgary Flames rallied for a 5-4 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Friday.

Toffoli finished off a 2-on-1 pass from Mikael Backlund with a shot in alone over the glove of a sprawling Thatcher Demko after Jonathan Huberdeau tied it 4-4 on a Calgary power play with 3:13 left in the third period.

It was the Flames first win when trailing after two periods all season (1-18-3) and it kept them two points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

“It’s about time we came back and won a game,” Toffoli said. “We needed it.”

Troy Stecher had a goal and an assist, Backlund and MacKenzie Weegar each had two assists, and Jacob Markstrom made 16 saves for the Flames (35-26-15), who have won three in a row for the first time since Dec. 7 and just the third time all season. 

Calgary has won four of its past five games but still trails Winnipeg, which defeated the Detroit Red Wings 6-2 earlier Friday.

“You can look at the standings, where we are and the fight that we’re in, so a big two points for us obviously and got to keep this going,” Stecher said. “It speaks volumes to the character we have in this room. It seemed anytime we scored we took a step backwards. It’s not something you want to do, but at the end of the day we find a way to get two points and stay in the hunt.”

Demko made 36 saves for the Canucks (34-34-7), who have at least one point in five straight games (3-0-2) and are 10-2-2 in their past 14. But after tightening up defensively since coach Rick Tocchet took over for Bruce Boudreau on Jan. 22, they have given up 11 goals in their past two games.

“I don’t know if it’s a structure thing; we’ve got to win a little more battles,” Tocchet said. “Some guys have to get a little more gritty in situations. … We’re not there yet and we’ve got to get to that level. And that’s getting stronger, anticipating a little bit, and meeting pressure with pressure. We’ll get there but, hey, listen, another point against a desperate team.”

Conor Garland put the Canucks ahead 1-0 at 8:30 of the first period on a breakaway after stealing the puck from Backlund at the blue line.

Elias Pettersson made it 2-0 on a power-play one-timer 36 seconds into the second period, extending his NHL career-high point streak to 14 games and 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) but he was more focused on the end result, which included being in the penalty box for high sticking when Huberdeau tied it. 

“Very frustrating,” Pettersson said. “They were maybe a better team overall. They had more shots, more looks, but we defended with everything we could.”

Toffoli pulled Calgary within 2-1 at 2:55 of the second period, scoring on a deke to the backhand in alone after both Canucks defensemen converged on Andrew Mangiapane on a 2-on-2 rush inside the blue line.

Blake Coleman tied it 2-2 at 9:00 when Backlund swept a rebound of a deflected Stecher point shot across the top of the crease to him, stranding Demko.

Aidan McDonough scored his first NHL goal on a similar play at 12:12 to put the Canucks ahead 3-2. Sheldon Dries made a backhand pass from his knees through the crease to McDonough for a quick shot over the pad of Markstrom.

Aidan McDonough #25 of the Vancouver Canucks holds his first NHL goal puck after their NHL game against the Calgary Flames at Rogers. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

“You dream about scoring that on the driveway or in the backyard your whole life,” said McDonough, who was playing his second NHL game since signing March 13 after his senior season at Northeastern University ended. “It was pretty special.”

Demko stopped Huberdeau on a penalty shot at 13:04 after he was fouled on a breakaway, but Stecher tied it 3-3 off the rush at 15:52 with a quick shot from inside the right face-off dot after a cross-ice pass from Nazem Kadri.

Anthony Beauvillier restored the Vancouver lead 14 seconds later, finishing a 2-on-1 give-and-go with Nils Aman with a backdoor tap-in to make it 4-3 at 16:06.

But Vancouver only had two shots in the third period, and Huberdeau tied it on the power play at 16:47 of the third period when Noah Hanifin‘s point shot bounced off the end boards to him at the bottom of the left face-off circle on the other side, and his quick shot went in off Demko.

“It was important,” Huberdeau said. “We had a lot of shots on net (41), the goalie was playing well, and it was good to finally come back after two periods. It’s good to have one. At this time of the year, it’s really important.”

NOTES: Pettersson is tied with Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller for the longest active point streak in the NHL and tied Darcy Rota for the third longest point streak in Canucks history behind Petr Nedved (15 games, 1992-93) and Todd Bertuzzi (15, 2001-02). … Toffoli has an NHL career-high 33 goals. He scored 31 with the Los Angeles Kings in 2015-16. … Stetcher’s two points give him 101 in his NHL career. … Canucks defenseman Filip Hronek didn’t play and will likely miss the rest of the season to rest and strengthen a shoulder injury, according to Tocchet. Hronek sustained the injury in a game with the Red Wings the night before being traded to Vancouver on March 1. He missed his first 10 games with the Canucks but played the past four before sitting out Friday.

Source: nhl.com

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