The Vancouver Canucks clinched a nail-biting 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday. The Canucks, who have been alternating between victories and losses over their last eight games, saw this win as a significant step forward.
The game saw defenseman Nikita Zadorov, recently traded from the Flames to the Canucks, playing a vital role in his debut. He assisted on the game-winning empty-net goal, which was initially credited to him but was later tipped by Elias Pettersson. The Canucks' goalkeeper Thatcher Demko also contributed to the team's success with 20 saves.
Despite the loss, it's worth noting that the Flames had previously won two consecutive games in overtime. Elias Lindholm, who was notable for Calgary, scored twice, including a late power play goal that brought the final score to 4-3.
Quinn Hughes, the Canucks' captain, expressed confidence in the team and emphasized the importance of consistency and finding ways to win. On the other hand, Lindholm acknowledged that the Flames' performance wasn't enough to secure a victory. He stressed the need for the team to be stronger on pucks and win more battles.
Ilya Mikheyev, Sam Lafferty, and Elias Pettersson each scored once and had an assist. Quinn Hughes, who also scored, now leads NHL defensemen with nine goals. After a blistering hot 12-3-1 start, Vancouver is 4-5-0 in its last nine games. They've alternated wins and losses over the past eight games.
Down 3-1 to start the third period due to Mikheyev's goal with 28 seconds left in the second, the Flames, who entered the night second in the NHL with five third-period comebacks, found it too big of a deficit to overcome. Thatcher Demko made 19 saves for the Canucks, improving to 12-6-0, while the Flames' Jacob Markstrom had 19 stops, dropping his record to 6-8-2.