The Flames largely deserved their fate in Friday's OT loss to the Anaheim Ducks, but that was not necessarily the case last night, as the visitors stayed with the first-place Canucks for the majority of the game--eventually falling 4-2 in their first regulation loss since January 19th.
The visitors lacked much in the way of spark in the opening frame, and the Canucks took advantage of that, building an advantage in shots and forcing Kiprusoff to make some challenging saves. Alex Burrows gave his team the lead at 10:42 when he found himself alone at the side of the Flames' net. The visitors couldn't find the equalizer before the end of the first period, and would enter the middle frame shorthanded and down by one.
After killing off the remainder of Steve Staios' late penalty, the Flames went to work in the second. Tim Jackman scored the tying goal just 2:11, reaching double digits in goals for the first time in his career. The Flames continued to pour on the pressure, and Curtis Glencross scored the go-ahead marker just over two minutes later. The visitors couldn't keep the Canucks off the board forever though, as Mikael Samuelsson scored his 14th of the season to tie the game at two just after the midway point of the period before putting Vancouver ahead for good on the powerplay.
The Flames would try for the equalizer in the third, with three straight powerplays working in their favour, but they failed to capitalize against one of the league's best penalty killing units. The Flames couldn't get set up in the offensive zone with KIprusoff pulled, and Alex Burrows would put the finishing touches on the win with his second of the game, an empty net goal with less than a minute remaining in the final frame.
Curtis Glencross continued his hot streak with another goal last night. The 28-year old has been playing 20+ minutes since being promoted to the first line. In his past five games, Glencross has accumulated four goals and eight points and has been shooting an average of 25%. He finished +4 in Corsi and +7 in ES scoring chances last night while going up against the Sedins with linemates Jarome Iginla and Brendan Morrison. The line finished with twelve shots on goal while ending the game a combined +16 in both scoring chance differential and possession and holding the Sedins to just one point. The only forwards to finish in the red were Olli Jokinen, Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, and Tim Jackman, although Jokinen's line was on the ice for the most defensive faceoffs of any forward group last night.
Although he finished without a point last night, Rene Bourque continued his positive upswing, finishing even in possession and +2 in chance differential. On the back end, Steve Staios had a rare good outing last night, finishing the game +2 and well in the black in both scoring chances and possession in just over fifteen minutes of ice time.
The teams were fairly close at ES, with Vancouver edging the Flames 26-22 in shots, but the difference came on special teams. The Canucks were able to capitalize on two of their six shots with the extra man while the Flames couldn't beat Luongo on any of theirs. The Canucks did a good job of limiting Calgary's chances on the PP, limiting them to only four shots on three opportunities.
The Flames will take on the Colorado Avalanche tomorrow, looking to jump back into a playoff position with a win over a division rival on the road.