NHL Game Summary - Vancouver at Calgary
(Thursday, October 1st)
Final Score: Calgary 5, Vancouver 3
Calgary, AB (Sports Network) - Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 39 shots, while Rene Bourque and Mark Giordano each had a goal and an assist to lead the Calgary Flames past the Vancouver Canucks, 5-3, in the season-opener at the Saddledome.
Adam Pardy and Brandon Prust also lit the lamp for Calgary, which finished two points behind these Canucks in the Northwest division last year but was bounced by Chicago in the opening round of the playoffs. It was also the first win for new coach Brent Sutter, who was at the helm of the Devils from 2007-09. Dion Phaneuf had an empty-net goal in the triumph.
Alex Burrows had a goal for the Canucks, who won their first-round playoff series last year but were then eliminated by Chicago. Kevin Bieksa and Mikael Samuelsson also scored in defeat. Roberto Luongo let in four goals on the 22 shots he faced.
"It's a tough way to start, especially the first period," said Bieksa. "We battled back at the end, but we can't play like that against a good team...We liked our last two periods."
Trailing by two goals in the third period, the Canucks cut it to 4-3. Following a scrum in front of the net, Burrows' wrister slid under Kiprusoff 41 seconds into the frame.
The teams failed to get any more offense, and Luongo was pulled with 1:19 left. Phaneuf, though, added an empty-netter to account for the final margin.
The Flames took the lead in the first period. Giordano's power-play snap shot at the 5:50 mark made it 1-0.
Just over two minutes later on the power play, Nigel Dawes, stationed behind the net, fed a pass to the low slot for Bourque, who wristed the disc into the net for a 2-0 lead.
"They hound the puck better than anybody," said Calgary left wing Eric Nystrom. "We were just making simple plays...it's good when you play with strong guys."
Later in the first, Pardy took a slap shot from the top left side of the zone and it travelled to the top shelf for a 3-0 lead with 8:08 left in the stanza.
Bieksa had a goal early in the second period to close it to two goals, but Prust netted a wrister right around the midway point to make it 4-1.
Samuelsson redirected a pass from Alexander Edler over the left shoulder of Kiprusoff late in the second to close it to 4-2 at the second intermission.
Vancouver won four out of six meetings with the Flames in 2008-09 and was 2-1 at the Saddledome. The Canucks had won four times in their last seven trips to Calgary.
10/02 01:29:05 ET