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Flames' Kuzmenko, Canucks' Lindholm score in debuts


It took no time at all for Andrei Kuzmenko and Elias Lindholm to find the stat sheet for their new teams as the two scored in the first period of their respective debuts on Tuesday night.
Lindholm tipped home a shot from Quinn Hughes in front, beating Pyotr Kochetkov to tie the Vancouver Canucks with the Carolina Hurricanes 1-1 and tipped another late in the second to give the Canucks the lead.

Lindholm had nine goals and 23 points in 49 games this season entering Tuesday and was recently named to his first All-Star Game in January.

The 29-year-old centre is a pending unrestricted free agent, carrying a cap hit of $4.85 million on his expiring deal.

Selected fifth overall by the Hurricanes in the 2013 draft, Lindholm had 212 goals and 545 points in 792 games with the Hurricanes and Calgary Flames.

He was acquired by the Flames along with Noah Hanifin in the June 2018 deal that saw Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, and Adam Fox head the other way.

Kuzmenko settled a pass from new teammate Jonathan Huberdeau and unleashed a wrist shot from the top of the slot, beating Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman on the power play to give the Flames a 1-0 lead. 

The 28-year-old was acquired by the Flames on Feb. 1 in a deal that saw Lindholm shipped to the Canucks. 

Kuzmenko entered Tuesday night with eight goals and 21 points in 43 games played for the Canucks this season and 47 goals for 95 points in 124 career NHL games.

The Yakutsk, Russia native is in the first year of a two-year, $11 million deal Kuzmenko signed last summer. He will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.

Kuzmenko signed with the Canucks as an undrafted free agent and has spent his entire two-year career with the team.