Flames "wanted" win over Canucks: Tanguay

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Maybe the Calgary Flames aren't quite dead yet.

You certainly may have to hold off on those obits after they rattled off wins on consecutive nights against two of the three Western Conference leaders.

One sleep removed from beating the Dallas Stars, the Flames came up with another victory, a 4-3 shootout win over the Vancouver Canucks Saturday night.

"We shot ourselves in the foot a lot early this season, but this league is so even, it's usually the team that wants it more that wins. We wanted it," said left winger Alex Tanguay.

It was Tanguay who made the difference, scoring the winner which was ruled no-goal on the ice, but counted after video review. Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo slid deep in his net while making the save and it was ruled the puck, which was caught on his leg, crossed the line when he fell backwards.

"I'd say they made the right decision, but I had no idea," Tanguay said. "It's a tough call to make, but for us it was the right one."

The Flames improve to 22-21-6, which leaves them still in 14th-place but five points back of San Jose in the No.-8 spot.

More importantly, they showed some serious moxie.

Not only were they up against a top team for the second time in as many nights, but they fell behind early.

Still, they keep battling through a see-saw affair.

Goals 20 second apart by Brendan Morrison and Curtis Glencross midway through the first period erased the deficit, but Vancouver's Alex Edler scored his second of the night to make it a tie game going into the third period before the sellout crowd of 18,860 at Rogers Arena.

Tim Jackman again put the Flames ahead, but Ryan Kesler scored a shorthanded goal in the middle of the third period to force extra time.

The visitors even withstood Vancouver's powerplay, which helped the Canucks managed seven shots on net in overtime.

"Resilient group," Flames head coach Brent Sutter stated. "We played hard. We didn't have a missing link in the lineup."

That includes goalie Miikka Kiprusoff. The embattled star netminder was beat by the first shot he faced and had some dubious moments, but he stopped 41 shots and two of the three Canucks in the shootout.

"It's a fact we need wins. We need a lot of wins," Kiprsuoff said. "My job is to stop pucks and get wins. It felt good."

Sutter was happy to see his faith in the goalie rewarded with a winning performance.

"How I measure a goalie is where the puck's hitting him. The puck hit him in the chest a lot tonight," he said.

Vancouver remains atop the Western Conference with a 29-10-9 mark but has lost four straight, three in extra time.

Calgary's two first-period tallies marked the first time since Nov. 15 the Canucks have allowed more than one goal in the opening frame, a 30-game run.

It's also the only first-period goal surrendered at home by the Canucks since Dec. 11, an eight-game spell of home-ice defensive dominance.

The Flames have two home games -- Monday versus Nashville and Wednesday against St. Louis -- before the all-star break.

"We've gaining ground," said Morrison, who happily took a spin on the ice after being named the second star against his former team. "We've got to jump a bunch of teams here, but you can't get caught up in jumping teams. We've just got to worry about ourselves. A lot of people don't think we can do it, but we believe we can."

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca twitter.com/RandySportak


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