Sam Bennett scores late in third to lift Flames over Canucks 4-2

Boeser scores 15th goal of season for Vancouver

Vancouver Canucks’ Michael Chaput, left, and Brendan Gaunce lose track of the puck as Calgary Flames goalie Mike Smith, right, guards the net during first period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY (CP) — After a slow start, it looks like Sam Bennett has finally found his groove.

Bennett scored the winner with 1:10 left in regulation and Matthew Tkachuk had a pair of goals as the Calgary Flames came from behind for a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.

On a determined individual effort, Bennett took the puck hard to the front of the net from the side boards and sent a backhand past Anders Nilsson, electrifying the home crowd.

“It was a big goal and I felt a lot of emotion there. After a tough start, it’s definitely nice to get one like that,” said Bennett, who has three goals and eight points in his last seven games.

The 21-year-old, who has been playing alongside rookie Mark Jankowski and a combination of Jaromir Jagr and Garnet Hathaway, has been especially hot on home ice with points in each of his last seven home games (4 goals, 6 assists) at the Scotibank Saddledome. That streak began on Nov. 9 after he failed to pick up a point in the season’s first 15 games.

“His game was trending in the right direction and now he’s getting results,” said Flames coach Glen Gulutzan. “That’s a real good sign for our hockey club and it’s a great sign for Bennie.”

Tkachuk added his second of the night into an empty net as Calgary made it two games in a row that its come back to win after trailing to begin the third period.

“When it was 2-1 headed into the third, we realized we had a little bit of a hill to climb, but some big goals from key players there and a huge two points,” said goaltender Mike Smith, who was playing in his 500th career game.

Troy Brouwer also scored for Calgary (16-12-2). The Flames move two points ahead of the Canucks in the Pacific Division.

Jake Virtanen and Brock Boeser scored for Vancouver (14-12-4).

“We played a good game. We’re not getting the results right now but we’ve got to keep battling,” said Canucks centre Henrik Sedin.

Calgary pulled even at 11:34 of the third when Hathaway’s alert pass found Tkachuk in the slot and the 19-year-old sent a backhander into the top corner.

“You never want to miss a game,” said Tkachuk, who returned after serving a one-game suspension. “I was pumped when they pulled out the win in OT in Montreal. I thought I owed it to the guys to play my hardest tonight.”

Vancouver broke a 1-1 tie on a power play with 55 seconds remaining in the second period.

Cutting in off the wing, former Flame Markus Granlund put a slick centring pass right on the tape of Boeser, who neatly steered in his 15th goal.

“I’m really pleased with his game. We knew he had a real goal-scoring touch and I know I keep saying it, but his play away from the puck is the part that probably impresses me more,” said Canucks coach Travis Green.

The impressive 20-year-old, who was the NHL’s rookie of the month for November, has 10 goals in his last 12 games.

After Virtanen scored 2:02 into the game, Calgary pulled even at 18:28 on Brouwer’s one-timer of a Curtis Lazar set-up on a two-on-one.

Smith made 22 stops to improve to 13-9-2. At the other end, Nilsson had 31 stops to fall to 6-3-1.

Sven Baertschi took a puck in the face early in the second and did not return.

Notes: Granlund played in his 200th career game… Nic Dowd made his Canucks debut after being acquired Thursday in a trade with Los Angeles…. Making his season debut for Vancouver was Michael Chaput, recalled from Utica (AHL) on Thursday… Del Zotto’s assist was his 200th NHL point.

Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press

CanucksNHL

Just Posted

Items seized over four days of targeted vehicle checks Nanaimo and Victoria by members of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. (CFSEU-BC photo)
Gang enforcement team seizes drugs and weapons in Nanaimo and Victoria

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. checked 33 vehicles over four days

(Citizen file)
Hooch the pooch saved from icy Cowichan River

Cowichan Search and Rescue swiftwater team called in to retrieve stranded dog from sandbar

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said financial penalties for council members found to be engaging in bad behaviour is a good deterrent. (File photo)
North Cowichan council members face financial ding for bad behaviour

Penalties under new code of conduct mean partial loss of salary for mayor and councillors

Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health chief medical health officer, immunizes Victoria Schmid, Island Health���s vice-president of pandemic planning. (Submitted photo)
Island Health: Can’t wait for a COVID vaccine? Get a flu shot in the meantime

“We’re in a pandemic, and we can’t afford to have dual viral infections.”

HarbourCats players celebrate winning the North Division Championship Series in 2019. (Christian J. Stewart/File Photo)
Victoria HarbourCats locked out of team Facebook page

Management hires legal team to solve issue

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are looking for help from the public to identify the driver of a vehicle after a hit and run in Duncan on Oct. 22, 2020. (File photo)
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP looking for driver after man hit in crosswalk

The hit and run is reported to have taken place on Thursday, Oct. 22

The boil water advisory came into effect Oct. 21, 2020.
Boil water advisory continues for Alert Bay

Coliform levels could indicate the presence of a pathogen

Nanaimo RCMP patch
Domestic violence on the rise in Port Alberni

COVID-19 still affecting domestic violence stats, says Alberni RCMP’s top cop

The entrance to the Port Hardy aquatic centre. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Port Hardy to ‘revitalize’ old aquatic centre for $8.5 million

‘If everything goes as planned, there will be no tax increase to cover our portion of the costs’

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Most Read