October 15, 2016 - 10:33 PM
VANCOUVER - Brandon Sutter scored the only goal of the shootout in the fourth round Saturday as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Calgary Flames 2-1.
Sutter beat Calgary goalie Chad Johnson through the five-hole on the winner after Ryan Miller stopped all four Flames shooters at the other end.
Daniel Sedin scored in regulation for the Canucks, who got 25 saves from Miller.
Troy Brouwer was credited with the game's first goal in the opening period after Canucks forward Loui Eriksson, who was making his Vancouver debut, put the puck into his own net on a delayed Calgary penalty.
Chad Johnson made 30 stops in his first start for Calgary (0-2-1).
The Canucks were the last of the NHL's 30 teams to open the regular season, while the Flames played their third game, and second in as many nights, after losing back-to-back contests to Edmonton, including Friday's home opener at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Vancouver had a great chance to win in overtime when Dougie Hamilton was penalized for holding at 3:36, but was unable to register a shot on goal the rest of the way.
Down 1-0 in the third, the Canucks played keepaway in the Flames zone for most of a two-minute shift before Henrik Sedin fed a pass between his legs to Eriksson, whose deflected pass in front was batted home by Daniel Sedin with 3:51 left in regulation.
Calgary opened the scoring at 9:14 of the first after Miller went to the Vancouver bench for an extra attacker with Brouwer about to be penalized for hooking. Eriksson circled away from the Flames blue line before throwing a pass towards his own zone from near centre in hopes of finding a teammate.
The only problem was the Canucks were in the middle of a line change, and defenceman Erik Gudbranson couldn't get back in time before the puck slid across the goal line in front of a stunned crowd at Rogers Arena.
The goal was originally credited to Brett Kulak — which would have been the first of the rookie defenceman's NHL career — but was later given to Brouwer, who now has two on the year. The goal also went into the stat line as an empty netter because Miller was already off the ice.
Perhaps a little shell-shocked by the turn of events, Vancouver couldn't do anything with the man advantage, and Calgary nearly made it 2-0 a few minutes later, but for a great pad save from Miller to deny Johnny Gaudreau.
Jake Virtanen had two good chances to get the Canucks back to even terms in the second period, but Johnson made a nice save on one before the second-year forward fired just wide on the other.
Miller kept his team in it at the other end, stopping Mikael Backlund on a 3-on-1 short-handed break and then doing the same to Hamilton on a Flames power play.
Calgary — which surrendered 12 combined goals in those defeats to the Oilers — were scored on a league-worst 260 times last season, leading the club to fire head coach Bob Hartley and bring in Glen Gulutzan, who was an assistant with Vancouver the last two years.
Brian Elliott was acquired from St. Louis in a draft-day trade to help shore up the leaky crease, while Johnson was added in free agency.
The Flames and Canucks are both coming off disappointing 2015-16 seasons that saw them miss the playoffs after making the post-season the previous year.
But while Calgary is expected to rebound, Vancouver has been picked by many experts to finish at the bottom of the standings.
Notes: The Canucks host Carolina on Sunday as part of four straight at Rogers Arena to open the season. ... The Flames welcome Buffalo on Tuesday, their first of three in a row at home.
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News from © The Canadian Press, 2016