The Canucks managed four goals on 13 shots in this one, and they left the rest up to Ryan Miller.
Vancouver’s netminder was the story of this game, as he made save after save, leading his team to the 4-2 victory on Friday night. Miller made 44 saves totals, including 22 saves during a firestorm of Flames chances in the third period.
With the second game of back-to-backs occurring tomorrow night in Calgary, the Canucks must put a better effort in if they want to pass Calgary in Western Conference standings. Calgary tripled Vancouver’s shot total, with the final shots ending up 46-13 in favor of the Flames.
How do the Flames feel about the Markus Granlund trade after this one? The Finnish winger had two goals and three points for the Canucks in this one. He had gone pointless in six games before the contest but exploded in a big way against his former team.
Granlund really outplaying Shinkaruk in this one. #thetrade
— Iain MacIntyre (@imacSportsnet) January 7, 2017
As for the Flames, they just couldn’t figure out how to beat Miller. However, two streaking Flames stayed hot, as both Michael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk extended their point streaks in this one. Their linemate, Michael Frolik, also potted two goals in the contest.
All in all, it was a fast-paced period between two hot teams.
Backlund and Tkachuk both extended their point streaks by setting up Frolik for a goal just 1:18 into the game. Lance Bouma made it 2-0 on a shorthanded chance, but Matt Stajan knocked down Ryan Miller, and the goal was disallowed.
Matthew to Mikael to Michael. #VANvsCGY pic.twitter.com/NHpQ5gL6Z3
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) January 7, 2017
Henrik Sedin and Johnny Gaudreau traded extremely close chances at each end, with both of their opportunities beating the goalies, only to have the puck slide through the crease. The Canucks would start to capitalize on some of their chances, with Michael Chaput scoring his first goal as a Canucks off of a give-and-go with Jack Skille. The fourth line was finally rewarded for their hard work over the past couple of games. The goal was Chaput’s first as a Canuck in his 29th game of the season.
Loui Eriksson would give the Canucks the lead after his pass went off Tyler Wotherspoon and in the net on a 2-1. Calgary actually outshot 11-6 in the period, but Miller stood strong in the net.
The Canucks were resembling the team that looked awful against the Flames on December 23. Once again, the Canucks had to rely on goaltending to bail them out, and Miller had a fantastic period. he made a couple great glove saves, including one off of Dennis Wideman.
Is Vancouver really this bad without Chris Tanev? He left during the first period after taking a shot in the ribs and did not return to the game. The Flames seemed to take advantage of the Canucks shortened bench, as they peppered them with 12 shots in the period. Perhaps none better than a save on another shorthanded opportunity from Deryk Engelland.
However, the Canucks would capitalize on the power play soon after Miller shut the door shorthanded. Even after a lackluster period, Bo Horvat made a great feed to Granlund, who buried the opportunity and put the Canucks up 3-1.
In my preview, I made mention of Nikita Tryamkin. He’s been looking better and better with each passing game. He’s scored his only two career goals against Calgary and got in on the offense again tonight. After making a great play to keep the puck in the Flames zone, Tryamkin wristed the puck on net, and Granlund tipped it home for his second of the game.
Calgary absolutely dominated possession-wise in this period. They also got three power plays and looked dangerous on every one. On their fourth power play of the game, Michael Frolik banged home his second goal of the game to cut the Flames lead to 4-2. That’s the last one they would get past a sturdy Miller, who won his fifth straight game. He has a ridiculous .955 save percentage since Christmas.
Michael Frolik (8) assisted by Mikael Backlund (14) and Matthew Tkachuk (17)
Michael Chaput (1) assisted by Jack Skille (3)
Loui Eriksson (9) assisted by Markus Granlund (8) and Alex Edler (5)
Markus Granlund (8) PP assisted by Bo Horvat (16) and Jayson Megna (1)
Markus Granlund 2 (9) assisted by Nikita Tryamkin (4)
Michael Frolik 2 (9) PP assisted by Mikael Backlund (15) and Mark Giordano (13)
THW Three Stars
1) Ryan Miller (44 saves)
2) Markus Granlund (2 goals, 1 assist)
3) Michael Frolik (2 goals)
Vancouver Canucks at Calgary Flames
Scotiabank Saddledome, 7:00 p.m. PST, 8:00 p.m. MST
Broadcast Channels: CBC, SNP