The Flames and Canucks met for the 5th and final time this season with the Flames entering with a 3-1 record against the Canucks including having won three straight.The Flames won the last meeting against the Canucks 5-2 at the Dome and were vying to beat them again. It was also Fan Appreciation Night at the Saddledome as it was the final Flames home game of 2015-16.
Markus Granlund and Hunter Shinkaruk played their former teams for the 1st time since being traded for each other just before the trade deadline. Drew Shore made his season debut after being called up from Stockton to replace Lance Bouma.
Mikael Backlund opened the scoring only 2:47 into the opening period off a gorgeous feed from Jakub Nakladal. Backlund initially misplayed the puck off the pass before patiently slotting it over the outstretched Ryan Miller. The Canucks would answer minutes later with Nikita Tryamkin scoring his 1st NHL Goal as his shot was deflected, finding its way through Joni Ortio’s five hole to tie the game at 1. The Canucks would then take the lead on their own powerplay with just under two and a half minutes to go in the period as Bo Horvat tucked a shot under Ortio’s glove. The period however wasn’t nearly over as Dougie Hamilton would tie the game 32 seconds later snapping a shot short side over Miller’s shoulder. Before any celebrating could be done, Derek Dorsett and Brandon Bollig would have a scrap. The period ends with the score at 2-2 and the shots 18-11 for Calgary.
The 2nd Period would start almost identically to the 1st period with Mikael Backlund scoring his second of the night, this time only 1:18 into the period. Again Backlund would fumble the original pass before this time banking the puck off the back of Miller from behind the goal line to give the Flames a 3-2 lead. This was also Backlund’s 20th goal of the season which is the first time in his career that he reached that milestone. A wonky goal deflected in by Emerson Etem would tie the game for the Canucks 5 minutes later. Joe Colborne would continue his stellar end to the season deflecting a Hamilton point shot over Miller’s shoulder on the PP to give the Flames back the lead. Backlund would complete his first career hat trick with under a minute remaining in the period on a shorthanded goal, this time slotting a perfect pass from Matt Stajan into the top corner. 5-3 Flames after two periods with a 30-19 shot advantage for Calgary too.
The majority of the third period would be slower than the rest of the game but with no major chances either way as some of the energy began to die out. However Deryk Engelland would continue his personal hot streak with his second goal in two games (!) shooting a goal top shelf over a fallen Ryan Miller with under five minutes to play in the 3rd. Sam Bennett would make the Calgary lead 7-3 a minute later scoring his 16th goal of the season and adding insult to injury for the Canucks. The final home game of the season ends with a standing ovation from the Saddledome faithful and the Flames winning 7-3. The Flames also outshot the Canucks 43-27 while tying season for goals in a game with 7.
Highlights of the Game:
- Mikael Backlund’s First Career Hat Trick
- Mikael Backlund’s First 20 Goal Season
- Nikita Tryamkin’s First NHL Goal
- Matt Stajan and Joe Colborne having 3 point nights
- Seeing Deryk Engelland score is so much fun
- Throttling the Canucks is always nice
- The fans cheering the Flames on all game long and at the end
The Flames ended their home schedule by upping their Saddledome record to 21-16-4 and also taking 4 of 5 games from the Canucks this season. The season wraps up on Saturday at 5PM in St. Paul against the Minnesota Wild!
by Michael MacGillivray