Phil Di Giuseppe scored and added an assist as the host Vancouver Canucks topped the Calgary Flames 3-1 on Friday in NHL pre-season action.
Tyler Myers and Teddy Blueger had the other goals for Vancouver (2-3-1), while Thatcher Demko made 17 saves.
Nazem Kadri replied for Calgary (4-3-1), as Jacob Markstrom stopped 28 shots.
Neither team score on the power play.
The Canucks were 0-for-4 and the Flames were 0-for-2.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 7, 2023
After the Canucks were embarrassed in a 10-0 loss at the Saddledome on Sept. 24, a more NHL-worthy lineup quickly assured that the team wouldn’t suffer the same fate on Friday.
Just 1:09 into the first period, Myers opened the scoring on the first shot of the game. He beat Markstrom low to the blocker side on a long shot from just inside the blue line. J.T. Miller and Di Giuseppe drew the assists, after Demko quickly advanced the puck up from the defensive zone.
The Flames levelled the score with 4:42 left in the first, when Kadri tied the game by poking a loose puck past Demko’s outstretched toe during a net-front scramble.
The first goal of the second period came with 6:05 left to play, when Quinn Hughes sprung Blueger on a breakaway for his first point in a Vancouver uniform. Less than three minutes earlier, Markstrom had stoned Blueger from point-blank range.
Then, with 47 seconds to play in the second, Di Giuseppe accepted a feed in tight from Brock Boeser and shot high to Markstrom’s glove side for his second goal of the pre-season.
There was no scoring in the third. With just under seven minutes to play, Demko came up big as Kadri streaked down the left wing, preserving Vancouver’s two-goal lead.
Di Giuseppe, Boeser and Hughes finished at the top of Vancouver’s pre-season scoring race, with five points each. Rookie Matt Coronato was Calgary’s leading scorer, with seven points in six exhibition appearances.
NOTES: Vancouver defenceman Carson Soucy left the bench with an apparent left leg injury late in the second period. He did not return … The Canucks will open their regular season against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena next Wednesday, while the Flames host the Winnipeg Jets at the Saddledome the same night … On Thursday, the Flames officially announced that they’ve reached the necessary agreements to undertake a new arena project, which is set to break ground in 2024.
Carol Schram, The Canadian Press