Sedin separation helps Canucks edge Flames in OT
CALGARY, Alberta -- The late-night comment on Twitter showed the emotion.
“Thanks for all the love today! #greatfeeling #bigW,” Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack tweeted late Sunday night.
It took splitting apart the Sedin brothers and some magic from unlikely hero Mike Santorelli, but Lack’s NHL debut was a success, a 5-4 overtime win over the Calgary Flames before a Scotiabank Saddledome sellout crowd of 19,289.
Santorelli scored his second goal of the game at 3:17 of overtime to boost the Canucks’ record to 2-1.
“I actually thought I was going to be more nervous,” said Lack, who made 32 saves. “The most nervous I was was the bus ride over and I felt, ... ‘I‘m really going to play an NHL game’. Once I got here and got into a normal routine and got on the ice for the warmup, it felt normal. All the guys have been supportive all day long.”
Supportive? For the first 44 minutes, Lack could have sued his teammates for lack of support. They practically left the netminder, a free-agent acquisition from Sweden who is No. 2 on the depth chart behind Roberto Luongo, on his own. Lack faced 26 shots through the first two periods.
After the Flames took a 3-1 lead early in the third period, Canucks coach John Tortorella made a move many around the hockey world would find unthinkable, separating the best twin brother combination in NHL history. Henrik and Daniel Sedin switched to different lines.
The result was both Sedins set up goals to get the Canucks back in the game.
“It was not just to split them up,” Tortorella said. “We had six body checks and four scoring chances in two periods. We were dead in the water, so it’s an easy decision just to change things up.”
Jannik Hansen and Santorelli tallied third-period goals to erase the two-goal deficit seemingly in the blink of an eye against a Flames team that outworked its opponents.
Dale Weise netted what appeared to be the game-winner with just under four minutes remaining, putting Vancouver on top 4-3.
However, the Flames, who are admittedly low on talent but big on heart, forced overtime when David Jones scored with 19 seconds left in regulation.
It just set the stage for Santorelli’s winner.
“It was a little bit of a roller coaster,” Lack said. “But I said to myself too that no matter what happened, I‘m going to stick with it and work all 60 minutes, and it kind of felt that’s what I did, too.”
For the Flames (1-0-2) is was deja vu. They blew two three-goal leads in their season-opening, 5-4 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals.
”It’s too bad because it’s quite an effort,“ Calgary coach Bob Hartley said. ”We dropped a point and gave (away) a game. It’s one thing to play in the NHL, but it’s another thing to know how to win in the NHL. That’s the part that we need to cultivate over here, and we will with the commitment and the effort that we see from those guys.
“Right now in the room, it feels like a playoff loss, and that’s a good sign. I‘m not happy and I‘m not going to say we deserve better, because we got what we deserve and gave the game away, but with the way those guys have been preparing ... good things will happen.”
Mark Giordano, who has four points in three games this season, Mikael Backlund and Sean Monahan also scored for Calgary.
Monahan, the No. 6 overall selection in this year’s NHL Draft, is making a case for remaining in Calgary instead of returning to the junior ranks. He has two goals and three points in a three-game point-scoring streak to kick off his NHL career.
The Canucks completed a weekend Alberta sweep after thumping the Edmonton Oilers 6-2 the night before.
Vancouver’s David Booth, who missed most of last season due to injuries, opened the scoring with his first of the season.
NOTES: Canucks RW Zack Kassian served the third game of the five-game suspension he received for his preseason high stick that broke the jaw of Edmonton Oilers C Sam Gagner. ... Flames C Joe Colborne, the hometown kid who was acquired on the eve of the season, played a game in the Saddledome for the first time ever. “It’s a dream come true,” he said. Colborne saw a team-low 6:45 of ice time. ... With his goal, the oft-injured Booth collected the 200th point of his NHL career. ... The Flames’ scoring-by-committee approach is off to a good start. Giordano, Backlund, RW Jiri Hudler, Jones, Monahan and RW Lee Stempniak each netted at least one point in all three games this season. Every forward who played in all three contests has at least one point.