CALGARY – After 39 minutes of shutout hockey, Calgary’s Daymond Langkow scored the pivotal opening goal Saturday night as the Flames went on to a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
Combined with a 4-3 victory Thursday night at GM Place, Calgary sweeps the home-and-home series and climbs to within one point of the Canucks atop the NHL’s Northwest Division. Right there as well is the Minnesota Wild who won 6-2 over Nashville to stay even with the Flames.
Langkow’s sixth goal of the season came on a power play with 38 seconds left in the second period.
Dion Phaneuf snapped a rising shot from the blue-line that was tipped along the way by Langkow and past rookie goaltender Cory Schneider, who was also being screened on the play by Calgary winger David Moss.
Moss made it 2-0 for Calgary at 6:11 of the third period perfectly placing a wrist shot inside the far goal post as he streaked down the wing. That goal would end up the game-winner as the Canucks broke Miikka Kiprusoff’s shut out bid at 11:26 of the third period when Jannick Hansen neatly set up Kyle Wellwood’s ninth goal in 19 games.
Matthew Lombardi at 18:38 of the third period also scored for Calgary (14-9-1). The Flames have won five of their last six.
Vancouver (14-8-2) loses in regulation for just the second time in its last 12 games (8-2-2). The Canucks were kicking off a season-high seven-game road trip, which continues Monday night in Columbus.
Schneider, 22, was making his NHL debut. Recalled from the Manitoba Moose (AHL) a week ago when Roberto Luongo went down with his groin injury, Schneider had watched Curtis Sanford start the first two games in Luongo’s absence.
Schneider was having a sensational year in the AHL with a 10-1-0 record, 1.37 goals-against average, and. 945 save percentage.
Calgary didn’t wait long to welcome Schneider to the NHL. Adrian Aucoin with a slapshot and Todd Bertuzzi on a backhand forced Schneider to make two saves in the opening 20 seconds. Before the one minute mark, Schneider was tested again this time kicking out a pad to thwart Flames captain Jarome Iginla from the top of the goal crease, one of three shots for the Iginla in the first period.
Schneider’s best stop of the night came in the third period preserving a 1-0 deficit at the time. In highlight-reel fashion, he threw out his glove to stab a slapshot off the stick of Mike Cammalleri, who was all alone in the slot Schneider finished with 28 saves.
Kiprusoff was less busy facing just 18 shots. Three of the shots came off the stick of Daniel Sedin, who had his five-game goal-scoring streak snapped.
In addition to scoring the game’s long power-play goal on five attempts, Calgary went 3-for-3 killing penalties and have now gone six games without surrendering a power-play goal going 15-for-15 during that span.
Notes: The Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders were recognized prior to the game. During the first intermission, quarterback Henry Burris rode on one of the Zambonis hoisting up the Grey Cup as he circled the rink. … Selected 24th overall in the 2004 NHL entry draft, Schneider was the last of four goaltenders selected in the first round. Others were Al Montoya (No. 6, NYR), Devan Dubnyk (No. 14, Edm), and Marek Schwartz (No. 17, StL). Only Schwartz has previously seen NHL time going 0-2 in six career appearances with the Blues… Calgary LW Todd Bertuzzi has gone 12 games without a goal.