VANCOUVER — Elias Lindholm scored the overtime winner as the Calgary Flames held on for a thrilling 6-5 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night in a relatively meaningless game for both teams.
Andrew Mangiapane, with two, Josh Leivo, Milan Lucic and Matthew Tkachuk scored in regulation for Calgary (25-26-3), which got 30 saves from Jacob Markstrom for his 21st win.
Brock Boeser, with two, Travis Hamonic, Tyler Graovac, and J.T. Miller found the back of the net for Vancouver (22-28-4), which scored four unanswered goals in the third period to force overtime.
Quinn Hughes assisted on three goals, Miller added two helpers and Braden Holtby stopped 30 shots in defeat.
The game didn’t mean much as the Canucks and Flames were already eliminated from playoff contention. They face each other two more times to end the regular season. Meanwhile several post-season matchups have already gotten underway elsewhere in the league.
The overlap is due to Canucks games being postponed earlier this year after a COVID-19 outbreak swept through Vancouver’s team and halted their schedule for three weeks.
After a second period in which they struggled mightily, the Canucks looked like a completely different team in the third and scored four times on 18 shots to force overtime.
Down 5-1, Vancouver scored back-to-back power-play markers with Graovac netting the first at 2:30 before Boeser made it 5-3 at 7:47.
Miller brought the home team within one goal with a short-handed tally at 11:28 and Boeser completed the comeback with 2:02 left on the clock by tipping Alexander Edler’s shot from the point.
Boeser nearly won it for the Canucks in OT when his shot rang off the post. Lindholm ended the game moments later when his centering pass in front went off Edler and in at 3:24.
Calgary is 6-2 against the Canucks this season.
Playing for pride was clearly enough to get the Flames motivated early on.
Leivo put Calgary in front 9:30 into the opening frame. Coming off the bench, he flew down the middle of the ice, intercepted a soft pass from Jonah Gadjovich at the blue line, settled the bouncing puck and beat Holtby on the backhand. Gadjovich was making his NHL debut.
Calgary improved to 19-5-2 this season when scoring the game’s first goal.
The Flames took control of the contest with three goals in a 2:17 span in the second period.
Skating down the wing on an odd-man rush, Leivo threw the puck in front and it went off Lucic’s skate and in past Holtby at 5:48.
Tkachuk made it 3-0 for the visitors at 7:17 when his missed shot bounced off the end boards and landed perfectly on his stick for his own rebound. Holtby tried paddling the puck away but he fanned on it.
Calgary increased its lead when Mangiapane took a pass from a falling Dillon Dube off his skate before chipping it over the Canucks goalie.
Vancouver got on the board through Hamonic’s second of the season at 13:21 but Mangiapane restored the four-goal lead 42 seconds later on a designed play off an offensive-zone face-off win.
Notes: Canucks captain Bo Horvat played his 500th NHL game. … Calgary’s Adam Ruzicka made his NHL debut. … Johnny Gaudreau has points in 10 of his last 11 games.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2021.