Kuzmenko and Martin lead Canucks to penalty shootout victory over Flames

Andrei Kuzmenko scored the only goal, Spencer Martin stopped all three shots in the shootout, and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 on Wednesday night for six straight wins.

Bo Horvat, Conor Garland and Sheldon Dries scored in the edit for Vancouver (13-13-3).

Martin advanced to 9-3-1 with 35 saves between rule and overtime.

For Calgary, Mikael Backlund, Andrew Mangiapane and Trevor Lewis responded (13-11-6). The Flames have been down 6-1-1 in their last eight games at Saddledome.

With 24 stops, Jacob Markstrom saw his record drop to 8-7-4.

After Jonathan Huberdeau opened the first-stopped shootout this season, Kuzmenko put Vancouver on the board with a quick shot over Markstrom’s glove.

Dillon Dube and Backlund missed the net in the Flames’ next two attempts to decide their fate.

Misery continued early on for Calgary, who came out of a three-game stint without a win. The Flames trailed 2-0 before they even recorded a shot on goal.

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Kuzmenko’s shootout beauty overtakes Canucks Flames

Andrei Kuzmenko scored in the first penalty shootout of his career, and Spencer Martin made 35 saves in Vancouver’s 4-3 win over Calgary.

Horvat cleared the 21st of the campaign when Oliver Ekman-Larsson deflected the Markstrom into the competition by passing 1:14.

Thirty-four seconds later, Garland spun around the corner uncontrollably, squeezing a 25-yard wrist hit into the upper corner.

The situation almost got worse for Calgary as winger Brett Ritchie was suspended shortly after. But a successful penalty kill against the NHL’s best power play since mid-October helped build momentum.

Flames cut the gap in half when Backlund diverted Dube’s perfectly placed centering pass for a power play goal.

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Flames fell in the conflict

In the shootout, Kirby Dach scored and Jake Allen stopped Nazem Kadri, sealing Montreal’s 3-2 victory over Calgary.

With 3:51 remaining in the frame, Calgary equalized with Mangiapane’s one-off Nazem Kadri’s cross inside the goalpost.

The Flames took the first lead of the competition at 3:51 of a second thanks to Lewis.

Picking the puck just outside his blue line, he sprinted through the neutral zone, splitting the Canucks’ defensive duo and shooting at close range. As Martin made the first save, the rebounder went behind the net and tried to pass the front pass, while Lewis took the ball from Martin’s glove and threw it in.

penalty walk

However, the lead took less than two minutes. Nils Hoglander’s terrific pass from the sideboards put Dries in the slot on open ice and took a shot from the post at 5:31 of the period.

Trying to take the lead in the third, Dries hit back from the front, but Markstrom ate while lying on his stomach with gloved hands.

Then Curtis Lazar of Vancouver set up for a two-on-one, and his dangerous shot shot out of Markstrom’s pads, but slid wide.

In overtime, Markstrom had to go big again, rejecting Ilya Mikheyev in a breakup with a minute left.

After a journey where Calgary missed 20 times in three games, the transition to the penalty area continued in the first period. The Canucks went to power play twice. The Flames have missed 115 times, the second most after the Edmonton Oilers (116). st. Louis Blues has been clipped at least 65 times.

Flames defender MacKenzie Weegar (non-COVID disease) bounced back after missing a game, while defender Chris Tanev (upper body) sat down after taking a shot from the side of his head in Montreal on Monday. Calgary also recaptured center Elias Lindholm (upper body) after a one-game absence and replaced rookie winger Matthew Phillips with Ritchie. For the Canucks, forward Brock Boeser (non-COVID illness) did not play, which made room for Dries’ return.

The Canucks had a three-game home run against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. Flames on Friday at St. Louis Blues.

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