Markstrom stones Canucks in return to Vancouver as Flames win 1st of 4-game set

Mark Giordano had a goal and an assist Thursday, helping the Calgary Flames to a 3-1 victory over the slumping Vancouver Canucks.

Calgary free-agent signing makes 33 saves to pick up victory against former team

Calgary goalie Jacob Markstrom makes a save against Vancouver's Brock Boeser during the second period of the Flames' 3-1 win over the Canucks on Thursday. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

Life in Vancouver has felt a little unnatural for Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom this week.

After spending seven seasons with the Canucks, for the first time he hit the ice at Rogers Arena as an opponent on Thursday.

"I think before tonight, this is the only building I hadn't been in the visitor room," Markstrom said. "It's weird to land and take the bus, staying at a hotel when it's been home for so long."

The Swedish netminder wasted no time making himself comfortable.

He stopped all but one of the 34 shots the Canucks peppered him with Thursday night, leading the Flames to a 3-1 victory against his former team.

One of Markstrom's best saves of the night came midway through the second period when he robbed Nils Hoglander of a goal. Vancouver's rookie winger sniped a shot from the top of the face-off circle and the goalie snatched the puck out of the air.

WATCH | 9 biggest NHL pests of all-time...in 90 seconds:

Flames beat Canucks for 3rd consecutive win


3 months ago
Calgary defeats Vancouver 3-1, Jacob Markstrom makes 33 saves against former team. 0:42

"He battled for us all night. He kept us in there at times and he made some big saves," said Calgary's Sean Monahan. "When your goalie's doing that, it gives you some jump and gives you a real good chance to win games."

Facing a hot goaltender can get into a forward's head, he added.

"When you're playing against a goalie like that, sometimes you start overthinking and you try to make an extra pass to get a better look and it starts to get frustrating," he said. "Marky's a great goalie and I'm really happy he's on our team."

Monahan registered a pair of assists on the night, and helped give his side some breathing room early in the third.

The centreman came out of the penalty box to collect the puck in the neutral zone, and dished it to Johnny Gaudreau.

Gaudreau hustled down the ice on a breakaway and popped a shot up past Vancouver's Thatcher Demko glove side to put Calgary up 3-1.

Mark Giordano had a goal and an assist in the win, while Andrew Mangiapane also scored for Calgary (7-5-1).

WATCH | 9 biggest NHL pests of all-time...in 90 seconds:

9 biggest NHL pests of all-time...in 90 seconds


3 months ago
Matthew Tkachuk has spent the season driving players crazy, but he is far from the first to do it. Rob Pizzo looks at 9 other players who got under their opponents skin. 2:03

Despite the final result, the Canucks (6-11-0) came out hard and fast, looking to snap an extended losing skid.

"They came out flying, literally," Markstrom said. "They play such a fast game and in the first period, we didn't really find our legs at the start, but overall, I thought we kept them to shots from the outside and stuff like that, letting me see the puck.

"They're a desperate team and they played a great game today. We're happy we got away with the two points."

Vancouver's lone goal came 6:31 into the second period.

Elias Pettersson deftly stick handled around Milan Lucic and slid a slick pass up the boards to Brock Boeser, who put a backhanded shot on net.

Markstrom stopped the first buck but Boeser collected his own rebound and shovelled it in behind the goalie's skate to knot the score at 1-1.

The Canucks outshot the Flames 34-26 on Thursday, but ultimately saw their losing streak stretch to six games.

The skid hasn't been easy, Pettersson said.

"It's frustrating. Everyone in our group, everyone in the locker room just wants to win a game and get back at it because we know what we're capable of but like I said it's not going our way right now but we'll figure it out," he said.

WATCH | I was in net for...Rick Nash's incredible one-man display:

I was in net for...Rick Nash's incredible one-man display


3 months ago
In episode 12, Rob Pizzo speaks to goalie Mikael Tellqvist about the time the Blue Jackets star turned the Coyotes inside out. 5:55

Demko stopped 23-of-26 shots for Vancouver.

A couple of unlucky bounces were what made the difference Thursday night, said Canucks coach Travis Green.

"As much as you hate losing our guys are smart enough to know they played a pretty good hockey game," he said.

"They know if we bring that came to the table, you're going to win more than you lose. You're not gonna win every game when you play well, that's just the way the league is, the league is too good. But I'm comfortable our guys know that if they bring that type of effort, good things are gonna happen."

Thursday's game was the first in a four-game set between the Canucks and Flames. The two teams will square off again in Vancouver on Saturday.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?