NHL Game Summary - Vancouver at Calgary
(Tuesday, February 17th)
Final Score: Vancouver 4, Calgary 3 (SO)
Calgary, AB (Sports Network) - Kevin Bieksa tied the score inside the final minute of regulation and Pavol Demitra tallied the only goal of the shootout, as the Vancouver Canucks downed the Calgary Flames, 4-3, at Saddledome.
Ryan Kesler scored twice for the Canucks, who have won six of their last seven games overall. Roberto Luongo allowed three goals on 41 shots in the victory.
Jarome Iginla, Daymond Langkow and Rene Bourque scored for the Flames, who earned at least a point for the fifth consecutive game (3-0-2) following a four-game losing streak. Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff was sensational with 40 saves, including one of the best stops of the season in the third period.
"He was the best player on the ice tonight -- that save on Wellwood was probably the best save in the league over the last two years," said Bourque about Kiprusoff.
With time winding down in the third period and the Canucks trailing 3-2, Bieksa's ninth goal of the season sent the game beyond regulation. With the goaltender pulled in favor the extra attacker, Bieksa held control at the centerpoint and his slap shot -- with assistance from major traffic in front -- beat Kiprusoff with 51 seconds remaining.
After a scoreless overtime, Demitra scored on a low wrist shot in the first shootout round and all three Flames shooters failed to score, which paved the way for the Vancouver win. The final Calgary shooter was Todd Bertuzzi, who used a spin move and had Luongo beat, but his backhander hit the post.
"The bottom line is that we found a way to win," said Luongo. "It was an exciting game to play in with lots of back-and-forth action."
The Flames opened the scoring near the midpoint of the first period. The puck was stolen by Bourque along the right half-wall of the Calgary offensive zone and he found Craig Conroy inside the near circle. Conroy quickly passed into the low slot for a streaking Iginla, who ripped home a one-timer at 9:51.
With only 16 seconds to play before the first intermission, the Canucks knotted the contest. Kiprusoff made a pad save on a slap shot from inside the right circle, but he failed to control the puck. After several attempts at the rebound, Kesler drilled the disc into the cage from atop the crease.
The teams traded similar goals in the second period for a 2-2 margin after 40 minutes of action.
Kesler's second goal of the game at the 17:05 mark gave the visitors a 2-1 lead. While on the power play, Steve Bernier fought for control of the puck behind the net and sent the disc into the crease area from along the rear boards. Kesler, stationed atop the crease, batted the puck out of midair into the back of the net.
Only 64 seconds later, the Flames used a merely identical tally to knot the contest. The puck was loose behind the net and it eventually was knocked toward the crease. From the left post, Langkow used the blade of his stick to swat at the puck several times, and finally one of his attempts was successful and the puck was pushed home out of midair from a sharp angle by Langkow.
In the third, the Flames moved ahead on Bourque's 20th goal. Bourque streaked down the left side on a 2-on-1 with Iginla hustling along the opposite wing. From the circle, Bourque decided against a pass attempt and released a wrist shot that beat Luongo along the ice with 13:08 remaining in regulation.
"I was trying to go five-hole and I got lucky to get it through," Bourque said.
Several minutes later, near the midpoint of the final period, Kiprusoff made an incredible save. Vancouver forward Kyle Wellwood was literally all alone at the left post with an open net due to an out-of-position Kiprusoff and the puck caromed directly onto his stick. As Wellwood began to guide the puck into the cage for a seemingly no-brainer goal, Kiprusoff came out of nowhere and flew across the crease before his outstretched paddle prevented the goal.
The Canucks improved to 14-10-4 on the road this season, while Calgary is now 20-7-4 at home in 2008-09...The Canucks were 1-for-4 on the power play and held the Flames scoreless on all five of their power-play chances.
02/18 01:37:12 ET