Ryan Miller was frustrated Saturday night, but he was not about to quibble.
Chris Tanev’s goal 34 seconds into overtime gave the Vancouver Canucks a 2-1 victory over Calgary – after Miller had allowed the Flames to tie the game in the dying seconds of regulation time.
“You get that far and you do get frustrated about handing a point back,” said Miller, who was outstanding until the tying goal, stopping 35-of-36 shots on the night.
“We stepped up in overtime and got it done. Right now, we needed the win. I try not to dwell too much on the last one.”
Tanev converted a 2-on-1 with Daniel Sedin. The goal came after Flames captain Mark Giordano scored with 5.6 seconds left in the third period on a long shot through traffic from the boards to force the extra session.
“I got it up to Danny then I skated as fast as I could,” said Tanev, who netted his first goal of the season. “I knew he would get the puck over if I could beat my guy.”
The Canucks (26-27-6) moved within four points of the Flames (29-26-4) in the race for second wild card and the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Calgary suffered its second loss in three games. It was Vancouver’s first win in three games. Flames coach Glen Gulutzan was not about to criticize the spoiled comeback bid.
“At this time of year, points are important,” said Gulutzan. “We’d like to have gotten both, but we need points at this time of year.”
Vancouver defenceman Alex Edler also scored for the Canucks, who had a successful homecoming after a difficult six-game road trip in the U.S.
“That was a tough turnaround for us coming off the road there,” said Canucks coach Willie Desjardins. “I was worried we might have a little bit of a slow start. But we played a real good second period, and then we just took some penalties in the third. Once we took (them), they got into the attack a little bit.”
Flames goalie Brian Elliott recorded 17 saves on 19 shots, but Vancouver’s first goal spoiled his otherwise strong effort. Edler unexpectedly opened the scoring 12:44 into the game on a slapshot from near centre ice that fooled Elliott.
“It was a knuckle puck coming in from the red line,” said Gulutzan. “It dropped about a foot and a half. Those things happen. But I really like the way (Elliott) rebounded.”
Elliott took a similar approach to Miller on allowing a bad goal.
“(It was) just probably (a) five-foot sinker curveball and not one that you want to give up,” Elliott said of the long-distance goal. “But you can’t really get hung up on it, you’ve got to move on from it, and I thought we did that as a team pretty well.”
Early in the third period, Miller stopped Brouwer on an in-tight rebound during a Calgary power play. It was the first of two power plays in less than four minutes, but the Flames could not beat Miller. With just over 12 minutes left, he robbed Brouwer again on a one-timer, again from point-blank range.
The Flames had three unsuccessful power-play chances in the third, including one with 2:11 left when Henrik Sedin was sent off for hooking. Gulutzan pulled Elliott in favour of an extra attacker, giving the Flames a two-man advantage that was unsuccessful but set the stage for Giordano’s late tally.
The game was the teams’ fifth and final regular-season meeting. The Canucks will play their second of back-to-back home games Sunday against Philadelphia.
“That was a good way to win a game, to stick with it and get rewarded,” said Desjardins. “That might give us some life for (Sunday against the Flyers.)
The Flames next face Nashville on Tuesday in the second of five straight road games.
Notes: Late NHL player, coach and executive Pat Quinn, who also coached Canada’s men’s Olympic team, was honoured before the game in a statue unveiled outside Rogers Arena. The Canucks thought they had scored again during a scramble late in the first, but officials ruled that a referee lost sight of the puck and whistled the play dead before the puck crossed the goal-line.Report Typo/Error