NHL Game Summary - Calgary at Vancouver
(Sunday, March 30th)
Final Score: Vancouver 6, Calgary 2
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Trevor Linden scored a pair of goals and Roberto Luongo made 27 saves as the Vancouver Canucks beat up on the Calgary Flames, 6-2, in a crucial Northwest Division showdown at General Motors Place.
Sami Salo, Markus Naslund, Matt Pettinger and Brad Isbister also scored for Vancouver, which snapped a four-game skid and moved a point ahead of Nashville for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference. Both clubs have three games remaining in the regular season, but the Predators hold the tiebreaker.
"It's a huge game for us obviously," Linden said. "It's just nice to have it go our way a little bit. We had a tough week last week, it's nice to win the way we did. And personally it was nice to get a little luck around the net."
David Moss and Matthew Lombardi tallied for the Flames, who are seventh in the conference and third in the division, four points behind Minnesota. Calgary has three games remaining in its season, one more than the Wild.
"Every team we play now is in the same position," Calgary's Jarome Iginla said. "We're all fighting to secure a playoff spot or to get back in it."
Miikka Kiprusoff had a dreadful night between the pipes, allowing four goals on 13 shots. Curtis Joseph made 18 saves the rest of the way.
Calgary needed just 1:13 to grab the lead, as Vancouver suffered a defensive lapse. Kevin Bieksa and Alex Edler left plenty of space in the slot, allowing Moss to tip Wayne Primeau's point shot through the five-hole.
Vancouver got one back on the power play, as Salo's slap shot sailed through a screen and past Kiprusoff at 11:54.
Lombardi put the Flames back in front, though, notching a goal on the man- advantage with 1:08 left in the stanza. The play started away from the puck, as Iginla barreled over Luongo, then nabbed the puck behind the net before passing to Lombardi. With the netminder still down, it was an easy go- ahead marker, with the Canucks furious after interference was not called.
The Canucks answered just 27 seconds later, as Naslund used a burst of speed to get past two Calgary defenders, then jabbed the puck into the net for a 2-2 game after one.
It was the first of five unanswered goals for Vancouver, which lit the lamp three times in the second period.
The first two belonged to Linden, as he moved around Kiprusoff to the right and lifted the puck over the netminder's pad to make it 3-2 at 1:53. Then, at 6:49, Linden had a deflection land at his skates, smacking it into a near empty net.
The rout continued at 12:16, as Pettinger took the puck at a sharp angle and roofed it under the crossbar for a 5-2 Vancouver lead.
Isbister's tally 52 seconds into the third gave the home squad a four-goal cushion.
Vancouver is 5-2-0 versus Calgary this season...The Canucks were just 1-for-9 on the power play, while the Flames were 1-for-7...The teams will close out this year's series and their regular seasons on April 5 in Vancouver.
03/31 02:01:42 ET