Giordano fuels Flames’ outburst vs. Canucks
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Calgary Flames were rewarded for their effort.
Mark Giordano scored twice in a four-goal second period, and the Flames routed the Vancouver Canucks 6-1 on Sunday night.
Calgary (17-14-3) snapped a three-game losing streak while improving to 3-4-2 over the past nine games.
“Even though the last few games we didn’t get a win, we were playing really good hockey and just weren’t getting rewarded,” said Flames center Sam Bennett, who had a goal and three assists. “This definitely feels really good for everyone tonight.
“We have to keep playing the way we are because if we do, it’s eventually going to pay off.”
Giordano liked the energy Calgary showed. The Flames were coming of a 2-0 loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday night but played with more speed and emotion than the Canucks.
“I thought tonight our whole game was good,” Giordano said. “”We’ve been playing well lately, and tonight we sort of got the breaks and scored a lot of goals.
“We’ve just got to keep playing the same way.”
Bennett scored on a four-on-one breakaway in the second period. He also assisted on goals by Mark Jankowski, Matthew Tkachuk and Micheal Ferland.
“His play away from the puck has dramatically improved, especially in the last 20 games,” Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan said. “That’s what getting him some different looks.
“It’s good from a coaching point of view when you’re going over that stuff and now he’s having some offensive success. It starts to get stapled in your brain that’s what you need to do to be successful.”
Calgary goaltender David Rittich stopped 16 shots and came close to getting his first shutout in just his fifth NHL game.
“It was like skating practice for me, not a lot of shots because guys played really well and blocked a lot of shots,” Rittich said. “I don’t really care about shutouts. For me, it’s the score after the game. We got two points.”
Markus Granlund scored Vancouver’s goal on a third-period power play.
It was a costly loss for the Canucks (15-15-4). Not only did they fall for the fifth time in six games, but rookie right winger Brock Boeser left early in the second period with a foot injury and didn’t return.
Boeser was hurt after blocking a Giordano shot. He leads all NHL rookies with 17 goals and 30 points.
Canucks coach Travis Green didn’t have a postgame update on Boeser’s injury. Boeser, who was spotted on crutches after the game, joins an injury list that includes center Bo Horvat (foot fracture), left winger Sven Baertschi (fractured jaw) and defenseman Chris Tanev (groin).
“It’s a good challenge for us,” Canucks veteran Daniel Sedin said. “We have a lot of young guys that are going to get more ice time. They need to step up. We all need to step up.”
The Canucks have been outscored 29-9 in their past six games. They were embarrassed 7-1 at home by Nashville on Wednesday.
Green thought the team was in the game until midway through the second period.
“When it was 2-0, I didn’t mind our game,” he said. “I felt if we could get another one before the end of the period, then all of a sudden they get three goals in four minutes.
“I felt like we were skating. We didn’t get a lot of pucks to the net. I felt like we over-passed it a few times.”
Once they fell behind, the Canucks made too many mistakes to catch up.
“When you are down, and you’re a team that doesn’t score that much, all of a sudden you start to cheat a little bit,” Green said. “It just doesn’t work. It backfires.”
Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom allowed five goals on 19 shots before being replaced by Anders Nilsson to start the third period. Nilsson stopped 18 of 19 shots.
NOTES: D Erik Gudbranson, who missed 11 games with an upper-body injury, practiced Saturday and could return to the Canucks’ lineup Tuesday against Montreal. ... Canucks C Michael Chaput and D Ashton Sautner were healthy scratches. ... The Flames’ third-period power-play goal broke an 0-of-23 streak in six games. ... Calgary G David Rittich was assessed a penalty in the first period for throwing his stick during a play at the side of the net. ... Calgary is 9-4-3 on the road this season and has points in five consecutive road games. ... The Flames’ scratches were C Curtis Lazar, C Freddie Hamilton and D Matt Bartkowski.