CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – Dillon Dube scored twice and Elias Lindholm got his 40th goal to lead the Calgary Flames to a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.
Brett Ritchie, Nikita Zadorov and Johnny Gaudreau also scored to help Calgary — assured of first place in the Pacific Division — win for the ninth time in 11 games (9-1-1). Dan Vladar had 28 saves to improve to 12-5-2.
Quinn Hughes, Conor Garland and Elias Pettersson scored for Vancouver, which lost its third straight (0-2-1). Thatcher Demko finished with 25 saves and fell to 33-22-7.
With three games remaining, the Canucks trail Nashville and Dallas in the Western Conference wild card race by six points. Vegas is two points ahead of Vancouver.
After a scoreless and penalty-free first period, the Flames surged in front 2:44 into the second period with a power-play goal. Lindholm, who was clipped by a high-stick from Canucks forward William Lockwood to draw the penalty, whipped a perfect shot into the top corner after being set up by Johnny Gaudreau. Lindholm’s 40th goal came one game after linemate Matthew Tkachuk reached the same number.
It’s the first time Calgary has had multiple 40-goal scorers in a season since 1993-94 when Gary Roberts (41), Theo Fleury (40) and Robert Reichel (40) all accomplished the feat.
Lindholm, whose career-best had been 29 in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season, had been stalled at 39 for the past three games. Robbed on three glorious chances on Thursday and thwarted on another dangerous chance in the first period on Saturday, Lindholm’s look skyward when the red goal light lit up showed his relief.
With the Saddledome still buzzing, the Flames scored again 16 seconds later, with Dube one-timing a centering pass from Calle Jarnkrok.
After Hughes ‘goal with 1:16 remaining in the period pulled the Canucks within one, Garland tied it 5:36 into the third when he swatted Tyler Myers’ cross-ice pass out of the air and inside the post.
It was only tied for 14 seconds with Calgary’s fourth line producing the go-ahead goal. Chris Tanev’s point shot deflected in off Ritchie’s skate while he was jostling in front with Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Calgary then put the game away, erupting for two goals 12 seconds apart. Dube darted in off the wing and beat Demko with a backhander into the top corner with 6:27 remaining for his 16th of the seasona nd sixth in his last six games. That was followed by Zadorov’s slap shot that squeaked through Demko’s pads.
Pettersson scored for Vancouver with 2:28 left to make it 5-3, and Gaudreau added an empty-netter with 1:39 left to seal it.
NOTES: Calgary is the first NHL team since the 1995-96 Pittsburgh Penguins to have four players reach 35 goals – Tkachuk (40), Lindholm (40), Gaudreau (38), Andrew Mangiapane (35) … The Flames called up Dustin Wolf from Stockton (AHL) to back up Vladar.
Canucks: Host Seattle on Tuesday night.
Flames: At Nashville on Tuesday night.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports