Toffoli scores twice, Flames complete comeback in 5-4 OT win against Canucks
VANCOUVER — Tyler Toffoli scored his second goal of the game 3:27 into overtime and the Calgary Flames came all the way back for a 5-4 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday.
Troy Stecher scored and contributed an assist for the Flames (35-26-15) in regulation, while Blake Coleman and Jonathan Huberdeau also had goals. Mikael Backlund chipped in with two helpers.
Elias Pettersson, Conor Garland, Anthony Beauvillier and Aidan McDonough — with his first NHL goal — all found the back of the net for the Canucks (34-34-7).
Jacob Markstrom had 14 saves for Calgary, who won a third straight game for the first time since Dec. 7.
The Flames remain two points out of a playoff position with five games left in the regular season.
It was a busy night in net for Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko, who stopped 36 of 41 shots.
Backlund sprung Toffoli for a breakaway in overtime and the Flames winger made no mistakes, putting a shot up and over Demko to end the game.
The Flames forced extra time with a late power-play goal after Pettersson was called for high-sticking.
Noah Hanifin sent a hard shot off the end boards from the point and the puck bounced to Huberdeau, who fired a rocket in past Demko from the bottom of the faceoff circle, tying the game at 4-4 at the 16:47 mark.
Flames were 1-for-6 with the man advantage Friday and the Canucks went 1-for-2.
Calgary outshot the home side 15-6 across the second, but Vancouver took a one-goal lead into the locker-room.
Nils Aman set up the Canucks' fourth goal of the night, finding Beauvillier at the side of the net off a two-on-one. The winger then fired a quick shot in behind Markstrom to give Vancouver a 4-3 cushion at the 16:06 mark.
The Flames levelled the score just 14 seconds earlier when Nazem Kadri sent a cross-ice pass to Stecher and the former Canucks defenceman sent a wrist shot in past Demko for his second goal of the season.
Calgary had a prime opportunity to add to its total earlier in the period when Vancouver's Tyler Myers hooked Huberdeau on a breakaway and the Flames forward was awarded a penalty shot.
Huberdeau tried to outwait Demko, only to see the goalie stretch out and stop his shot from the side of the net with his skate.
The Canucks took a 3-2 lead when McDonough buried his first NHL goal.
Sheldon Dries set up the strike, taking a backhanded shot from his knees at the side of the crease. Markstrom stopped the shot but couldn't contain the rebound and the puck popped out to McDonough, who fired a wrist shot in 12:12 into the frame.
The Flames evened the score at 2-2 midway through the second.
Backlund's shot ricocheted of Demko's pad and Coleman batted the puck in from the top of the crease 9:00 into the period.
Stecher, who hails from Richmond, B.C., registered an assist on the play, marking his 100th regular-season NHL point.
A give-and-go between Toffoli and Andrew Mangiapane put the Flames on the board 2:55 into the second.
Mangiapane dished Toffoli a pass across the slot and the former Canuck tucked a backhanded shot in for his 32nd of the campaign, hitting a new career-high in goals. Toffoli scored 31 with the L.A. Kings in 2015-16.
Vancouver went up 2-0 with a power-play goal 36 seconds into the middle frame after Mangiapane was called for hooking late in the first.
Pettersson blasted a rocket past Markstrom from the top of the faceoff circle for his 36th goal of the season.
The tally extended his point streak to a career-high 14 games, with eight goals and 12 assists across the stretch.
Garland picked the puck off Backlund's stick 8:30 into the first and sprinted into Calgary territory on a breakaway, firing a shot under Markstrom's glove to open the scoring his 14th goal of the season.
The Canucks held their annual Pride night, featuring themed warm-up jerseys, special entertainment before and during the game, and video messages from people in the LGBTQ community.
Vancouver forward Andrei Kuzmenko skipped warm-ups in order to avoid wearing the special uniforms, designed by a local artist. He's the latest NHL player to refuse to wear a Pride jersey this season.
Coach Rick Tocchet said Friday that Canucks defenceman Filip Hronek is likely done for the season as he works his way back from a shoulder injury.
"There's really no reason for him to come back," Tocchet said. "If this were a playoff game, he'd be in the game. But it's not a playoff game. … He's going to have a long time to get his shoulder perfect."
The 25-year-old blue liner has one assist in four games for Vancouver since being acquired by the Canucks ahead of the NHL trade deadline in March. He didn't play for his new team until March 28 because of the shoulder injury.
Flames: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.
Canucks: Continue a five-game homestand Sunday against the L.A. Kings.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 31, 2023.
Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press