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.

It was a better showing for the Canucks (6-11-0), who outshot the visitors 34-26 but ultimately dropped their sixth game in a row.

Andrew Mangiapane and Johnny Gaudreau also scored for Calgary (7-5-1), and Sean Monahan had a pair of assists.

Brock Boeser responded for the Canucks with a second-period tally set up by Elias Pettersson.

Vancouver’s Thatcher Demko stopped 23-of-26 shots and Jacob Markstrom had 33 saves to give Calgary its third win in a row.

The Canucks pulled Demko for an extra attacker with more than two minutes on the clock, but couldn’t get the puck past their former goaltender.

Despite the final score, Vancouver tested Markstrom mightily on Thursday.

One of the Swedish netminder’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 Markstrom snatched the puck out of the air.

Monahan helped give the Flames some breathing room 5:48 into the third.

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

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

Mangiapane regained the lead for the Flames midway through the second frame with a blast that careened off Vancouver defenceman Nate Schmidt and into the Canucks net.

The goal extended Mangiapane’s point streak to four games. He has three goals and two assists across the stretch.

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

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

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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.

Both Boeser and Pettersson are riding five-game points streaks, with each registering two goals and three assists.

The Flames opened the scoring late in the first.

Vancouver had just killed off a penalty when Monahan sent Giordano a long pass from the goal line. The Flames captain unleashed a rocket, catching Demko out of position and sailing the puck into a yawning net.

A short thank video for Markstrom, Chris Tanev and Josh Leivo played on the big screen midway through the first period, eliciting stick taps from the Canucks’ bench.

The trio played for the Canucks last season before signing with the Flames in free agency and Thursday marked their first game back in Vancouver.

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