Markstrom returns to Vancouver, helps Flames extend Canucks skid to six


VANCOUVER — Jacob Markstrom made 33 saves, and the Calgary Flames opened a four-game set against the Vancouver Canucks with a 3-1 win at Rogers Arena on Thursday.

It was Markstrom’s first game in Vancouver since signing a six-year contract with Calgary on Oct. 9 after seven seasons with the Canucks. He won the first two times they played this season, 3-0 on Jan. 16 and 5-2 on Jan. 18, each in Calgary.

Mark Giordano had a goal and an assist for the Flames (7-5-1), who have won three straight for the first time this season.

Brock Boeser scored, and Thatcher Demko made 23 saves for the Canucks (6-11-0), who have lost six straight.

The Canucks and Flames play again in Vancouver on Saturday and Monday, and Wednesday in Calgary.

Vancouver, coming off a six-game road trip, outshot Calgary 9-2 in the first 8:23 of the first period but couldn’t beat Markstrom, who made tough saves off Tanner Pearson, Elias Pettersson and Alexander Edler. 

Giordano put Calgary ahead 1-0 at 18:35 of the first period on a screened shot that deflected in off the skate of Canucks defenseman Jordie Benn one second after a power play expired.

Boeser tied it 1-1 at 6:31 of the second period, banging in his own rebound after Markstrom stopped him on a partial breakaway created by a pretty Pettersson play out of his own end. 

Calgary went ahead 2-1 one second after a power play ended at 14:31 when Andrew Mangiapane‘s one-timer deflected off Benn and defenseman Nate Schmidt.

Johnny Gaudreau made it 3-1 at 5:58 of the third period with a breakaway shot over Demko’s glove 10 seconds after a Canucks power play ended. 

Vancouver forward Justin Bailey left 1:19 into the second period with an upper-body injury after taking a hit from Calgary forward Milan Lucic.

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