VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)Elias Lindholm scored the overtime winner and the Calgary Flames bounced back after blowing a four-goal lead in the third period to beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-5 on Sunday night.
The Canucks and Flames have already been eliminated from playoff contention and face each other twice more to end the regular season – despite several postseason matchups already underway. The overlap is due to the COVID-19 outbreak that swept through Vancouver’s team and halted the Canucks’ schedule for three weeks.
Andrew Mangiapane scored twice and Josh Leivo, Milan Lucic and Matthew Tkachuk also had goals in regulation for Calgary. Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves for his 21st win, which looked as though it would be easy after two periods.
”It was just special teams, third period, our penalty kill wasn’t very good in the third and our power play was not very good all night,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. ”There wasn’t a whole lot going on out there.”
Brock Boeser had two goals and Travis Hamonic, Tyler Graovac, and J.T. Miller scored for Vancouver, which had four goals in the third period to force overtime. Quinn Hughes assisted on three goals, Miller added two helpers and Braden Holtby stopped 30 shots in defeat.
”We have guys in the room that really care,” Hughes said. ”Nobody was happy with how our second period went. I think we wanted to come out in the third and try our best and see what we could do.”
Down 5-1, Vancouver scored back-to-back power-play goals, with Graovac getting the first at 2:30 before Boeser made it 5-3 at 7:47.
Miller brought the Canucks within one with a short-handed goal at 11:28. Boeser tied it with 2:02 left in regulation by tipping Alexander Edler’s shot from the point.
Boeser nearly won it for the Canucks in OT when his shot rang off the post. Lindholm ended the game moments later when his centering pass in front went off Edler and in at 3:24.
”Any team going into a situation like that, you have to show character and some pride, not leaving your goalie out to dry any more than we had,” Miller said. ”It was definitely a good push. Really wanted to get two points after making it pretty close there. Good hard-fought game.
”Obviously, we should be proud of the way we responded in the third.”
The Flames improved to 6-2 against the Canucks this season. The teams play again Tuesday in Vancouver and Wednesday in Calgary.
NOTES: Canucks captain Bo Horvat played in his 500th NHL game. … Calgary’s Adam Ruzicka made his NHL debut. … Johnny Gaudreau has points in 10 of his last 11 games.
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