Vancouver Canucks

Zadorov Assists On GWG As Canucks Hold Off Flames 4-3

It first appeared as though new Vancouver D-man Nikita Zadorov potted an empty net goal as the Canucks held off a late charge from his former team and won 4-3 in Calgary. The goal ended up as the game winner after the Flames scored a late power play goal afterward.

Postgame, credit for the goal was changed to Elias Pettersson, who touched the puck as it passed by. Why he’d touch it we’re not sure.

With Zadorov acquired from the Flames two day ago, the Vancouver blueline corps looked like this:

Quinn Hughes – Filip Hronek

Ian Cole – Noah Juulsen

Zadorov – Tyler Myers

The big Russian would be booed consistently by his former fans in red.

1st Period

It didn’t take long for captain Quinn Hughes to the put the Canucks on the board. “Huggy” skated in and ripped a wrister from the left circle that Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom probably should have had at the 2:03 mark. Hughes’s nine tallies leads the NHL in goals by a defenceman.

Six minutes later Vancouver would cash in again off effective puck retrieval in the offensive zone. The puck ended up with Filip Hronek at the left point and he ripped a shot off bodies in front of Markstrom. The carom dropped down right in front of Sam Lafferty on the doorstep and he banged it home.

The Canucks had a 2-0 lead on six shots.

The Flames would answer at the 12:18 mark on the power play when Mikael Backlund went to the net hard and deflected in a shot/pass from Adam Ruzicka. They’d take the momentum from that goal to turn up the pressure at even strength.

After Thatcher Demko was forced to make a couple of sterling saves, it would actually be a Dakota Joshua hooking penalty 180-feet from his own net in the closing seconds that would give Calgary a full two-minute power play to start the 2nd period.

2-1 Canucks

2nd Period

The Canucks killed off the Joshua penalty and would earn a power play of their own at 4:01. A minute later it would turn into a 5-on-3 opportunity. Despite a couple of glorious chances, the Flames would kill off both infractions.

Both teams would pick up one more man advantage before the period was over, with Vancouver scoring at even strength just eight seconds after their PP ended. The goal came from Ilya Mikheyev with 28-seconds remaining in the period. The Russian winger backhanded in a rebound chance from the top of the blue paint.

Vancouver up 3-1

3rd Period

Soon after a successful early 3rd period penalty kill, Mikheyev picked up a loose puck, skated in on a breakaway and was stoned by Markstrom. The former Canucks goalie was giving his Flames team a chance.

Vancouver slowed things down. Shots were few and far between during the first half of the period.

The Flames would attempt a late comeback. Taking a Yegor Sharangovich slap-pass at the bottom of the left wing circle, Elias Lindholm deked and waited out Demko and Hughes to slide home a goal.

Calgary would pull Markstrom and none-other-than Zadorov would fire an empty-netter home from 190 feet away.

The Flames would pick up a power play goal from Jonathan Huberdeau with their net empty in the final minute, a 6-on-4 situation, but the final scramble that followed would fall short.

Shots on goal finished in favour of the Canucks 23-22. Power play: Vancouver 0-for-4, Calgary 2-for-5.

Vancouver gets two days off before starting a five-game homestand.

Canucks 3 Stars:

1) Filip Hronek – Three assists. Two shots on goal.

2) Sam Lafferty – A goal and an assist.

3) Thatcher Demko – Big saves during the first 40 minutes in particular.

Canucks Trades:

— Canucks ‘Going For It’ As They Trade For Big D-Man Zadorov

— Canucks Gain Cap Room With Anthony Beauvillier Trade

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.