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US NHL

Calgary’s Jacob Markstrom blanks former mates, 3-0

Matthew Tkachuk collected one goal and an assist while goaltender Jacob Markstrom posted the 32-save shutout against his former team as the Calgary Flames won their home opener 3-0 over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.

Slideshow ( 56 images )

Sean Monahan and Dillon Dube also scored for the Flames, who netted three power-play goals. However, the biggest joy from the team was for Markstrom, who was lured to Calgary from Vancouver with a six-year, $36 million contract this past offseason. He rewarded the team with his sixth career shutout.

The clubs will face each other again Monday night in Calgary.

Monahan opened the scoring with Calgary’s first power-play goal at 8:31 of the first period. Monahan set up shop in the slot and was the recipient of a perfectly executed bump-back pass from Tkachuk from the side of the net, which he immediately slipped into the net for his first goal of the season.

Dube doubled the Calgary lead with another well executed man-advantage marker at 16:12 of the middle frame. Andrew Mangiapane was fed the puck at the top of the left circle, but instead of shooting, he made a highlight-reel worthy backhanded pass across the ice to Dube at the right face-off dot, and it was immediately snapped into the top corner.

Tkachuk completed the power-play hat trick with 4:44 remaining in the game. Canucks goalie Braden Holtby stopped a long shot but couldn’t corral the rebound before Tkachuk chipped it into the cage for his second goal of the season.

From there, the question was whether Markstrom could record the goose egg against his former team. Although he wasn’t severely tested through the first two periods, Markstrom stood tall in the final period with a handful of big saves, among them when he denied Nils Hoglander in the opening moments and then against Zack MacEwen on a partial breakaway.

Holtby made 32 saves for the Canucks, who have lost two straight by a combined score of 8-2.

Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler left midway through the third period because his leg was cut during a collision with Tkachuk. Fortunately, he returned in the waning minutes.

--Field Level Media

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