September 30, 2016 - 10:25 PM
CALGARY - Brought in over the summer from St. Louis, veterans Brian Elliott and Troy Brouwer have come as advertised for the Flames.
Brouwer had a goal and an assist Friday night and Elliott was solid in net stopping 17-of-18 shots as Calgary won 2-1 over the Vancouver Canucks in NHL pre-season action.
After helping the Blues to the Western Conference final last year, Elliott was acquired on draft weekend via a trade and Brouwer signed on July 1 as a free agent.
Brouwer opened the scoring at 6:08 when he got open in the slot, and wristed a perfect shot past Richard Bachman after being set up by Sam Bennett.
"I said after he scored that one different team, same goal," said Elliott. "That's where he likes to stand and if guys can feed him the puck, he'll put it in."
Matthew Tkachuk scored the game-winner at 14:34 of the second, knocking in a Brouwer rebound to break a 1-1 tie. It was the first pre-season goal for the sixth-overall pick from June.
"I really wanted to get the first one out of the way and I was really, really happy," said the 18-year-old, who in two games has looked good on a line with Bennett and Brouwer.
"(Brouwer) certainly helps and Bennie, they've got a little chemistry, but Matthew, he fits right in. He's always around the net so he's always picking up loose change," said Flames coach Glen Gulutzan.
Bennett, the third member of the line, added two assists for Calgary (2-2-0).
Guillaume Brisebois scored for Vancouver (1-1-1).
Earlier in the second, Calgary got a scare when Tkachuk left the ice and went straight to the Flames dressing room, appearing to have been injured when he got rocked hard into the boards by Canucks defenceman Joseph Labate, but he returned after a few minutes.
The only shot to beat Elliott was a perfect snapshot into the top corner by Brisebois.
Other than that, Elliott was calm and cool and never looked under duress.
"I've talked to (Mark Giordano) and I've talked to a couple other guys and they say how calming and easy it is to play in front of him already, even though it's been two pre-season games," Brouwer said.
Gulutzan says stable goaltending enables the players to play more relaxed. Calgary's goaltending was worst in the league last year.
"It lets everybody play with a little less tension. You're not afraid if you have one little bobble or turnover, that it's going to end up in your net," said the coach.
Tyler Parsons stopped all seven shots in relief of Elliott. Bachman, who had 15 saves in his 40 minutes of work, gave way to Thatcher Demko, with the former Boston College star perfect on 11 shots faced.
Notes: Calgary is back in action on Sunday when it hosts Winnipeg. Vancouver hosts San Jose on Sunday... Vancouver played Tuomo Ruutu and Jack Skille, both in camp on pro try-outs... The Flames had one PTO in their line-up in former Canuck Chris Higgins.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016