The Canucks won their second game in a row and their eighth in the last 10 games on Saturday night, defeating the Flames 5-2 at Rogers Arena. The win increased Vancouver's lead to four points as the team prepares for the home stretch of the season.
Cory Schneider turned in another big night, stopping 36 saves. 14 of those saves came in the first period when the Flames put continuous pressure on net, keeping Schneider on his toes.
Dan Hamhuis opened the game with a bang, scoring just 34 seconds into the game off a perfect cross-ice pass from Alex Burrows. Seven minutes into the game, Dale Weise deflected a Jason Garrison slap shot into the net to extend the Canucks' lead to 2-0. The goal was initially credited to Garrison, but was later changed. The Flames answered back with a goal at 13:49 from Dennis Wideman to cut Vancouver's lead in half. Despite being outshot 15-8 in the opening period, the Canucks held the 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.
Alex Burrows extended the Canucks' lead in the second period, jabbing in a goal past Miikka Kiprusoff to make it a 3-1 game. With 26.5 seconds left in the second period and the Canucks' on the power play, Alex Edler blasted a shot past Kiprusoff just four seconds into the Vancouver power play to head into the final intermission with a three goal lead.
Alex Tanguay managed to tap in a goal past Schneider at 10:49 in the third period to cut the Canucks' lead in half. That would be the only goal Schneider would let past him for the rest of the night. With the net unoccupied and the Flames on the 6-on-4 advantage, Henrik Sedin added a final goal for good measure to cap off the night. It was also the first shorthanded goal of the season for the Canucks. In addition to the goal, Henrik also added two assists on the night, reaching 600 assists for his career.
Schneider faced a ton of pressure again in the third period, stopping 13 shots to preserve the lead. The Flames managed to outshoot the Canucks 38-22, but couldn't beat Schneider enough to come out on top. Saturday marked the tenth consecutive game started by Schneider who has taken over the top spot in net as the playoffs near.
The Canucks will face the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night at Rogers Arena before starting their final road trip of the season, a five-game trip with games against the Flames, Avalanche, Predators, Blues and Stars.
Saturday's game also marked Alain Vigneault's 530th career game behind the Canucks, passing Marc Crawford for most regular-season games behind the bench.
It seems as if the Canucks are finally hitting their stride when it matters most. While the team has looked shaky at times during the season, sometimes it's just about who gets hot at the right time. Right now, Vancouver is one of the hottest teams in all of hockey.