April 17th, 2024

Hoglander scores twice as Vancouver Canucks double up Calgary Flames 4-2

By Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press on March 23, 2024.

Vancouver Canucks' Nils Hoglander (21) skates with the puck behind Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom, second right, as Oliver Kylington (58) checks Vancouver's Elias Pettersson (40) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, March 23, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER – Nils Hoglander scored twice and the Vancouver Canucks doused the Calgary Flames 4-2 on Saturday.

J.T. Miller recorded his team-leading 34th goal of the season, Elias Lindholm scored into an empty net, and Elias Pettersson and Conor Garland each contributed a pair of assists for the Canucks (45-18-8).

Rasmus Andersson and Joel Hanley replied for the Flames (33-31-5), who hadn’t played since suffering a 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Monday.

Making his fifth-straight start in place of the injured Thatcher Demko, Canucks goalie Casey DeSmith stopped 22-of-24 shots and improved to 11-5-6 on the season.

Jacob Markstrom had 22 saves in his first start since March 9. The Flames netminder missed five games with a lower-body injury

The Canucks remain at the top of the Western Conference standings, three points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars.

Calgary pulled Markstrom after the Canucks went up 3-1 late in the third period and Lindholm capitalized, sending a shot into the empty net for his 13th goal of the campaign at the 18:50 mark.

Vancouver boosted its cushion to two goals with a power-play tally 16:42 into the final frame.

Miller went one-on-one with Oliver Kylington and the Calgary blue liner took out the Canucks forward as he charged the net, drawing a call for tripping.

Nine seconds into the man advantage, Miller blasted a one-timer up and over Markstrom’s glove.

DeSmith preserved Vancouver’s lead with just under seven minutes to go in the game, knocking down a Jonathan Huberdeau shot from the slot. He then swept the rebound out of the crease before Martin Pospisil could tip it into the net.

The Flames had an opportunity to level the score when Miller was called for tripping midway through the third.

Weegar blasted a shot on net from just inside the blue line, only to see DeSmith pluck the puck out of the air with his glove.

The Flames went 0-for-2 on the power play Saturday while the Canucks were 1-for-2.

Vancouver has killed 10 penalties in a row going back to a 4-3 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche on March 13th.

Andersson cut Calgary’s deficit to 2-1 late in the second on Saturday. The defenceman launched a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle, sending the puck sailing into the top corner of the net for his eighth goal of the season 18:31 into the period.

Hoglander put away his second of the night – and 22nd of the campaign – at the 8:16 mark of the middle frame.

Garland deflected Connor Zary’s pass to Pettersson in the neutral zone and the star centre took a few steps before passing off to Hoglander as they broke into Calgary territory. Hoglander pulled the puck to his backhand and flicked a shot in over Markstrom to give Vancouver a 2-0 lead.

The Swedish winger opened the scoring 48 seconds into the game off a tidy passing play.

Garland dished off to Pettersson in the faceoff circle, who wasted no time delivering the puck to Hoglander, stationed at the side of the net. Hoglander sent a quick wrist shot past an out-of-position Markstrom.

ALL EVEN

All of Hoglander’s goals this season have come at even strength. He’s tied with J.T. Miller for most even-strength goals on the Canucks, and sits tied for 16th for most in the NHL.

FAMILIAR FACES

Canucks centre Elias Lindholm and Flames winger Andrei Kuzmenko faced their former teams for the first time. The two players swapped sides in a blockbuster trade on Jan. 31, when Vancouver picked up Lindholm in exchange for Kuzmenko, a first-round pick in the 2024 draft, a conditional fourth-round pick and two prospects. Kuzmenko received cheers from the crowd at Rogers Arena when he was welcomed back on the big screen early in the first period.

UP NEXT

Flames: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday.

Canucks: Continue a nine-game homestand Monday against the L.A. Kings.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2024.

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