Toffoli scores 2nd goal in OT, Flames beat Canucks 5-4
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Tyler Toffoli scored his second goal of the game 3:27 into overtime and the Calgary Flames rallied to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 on Friday night.
Troy Stecher had a goal and an assist, and Jonathan Huberdeau and Blake Coleman also scored for the Flames, who faced deficits of 2-0, 3-2, and 4-3 before getting their first three-game win streak since Dec. 7. Mikael Backlund had two assists and Jacob Markstrom finished with 14 saves.
"I think it speaks volume to the character that we have in this room," Stecher said. "Tonight, it seemed like any time we scored, we took a step backwards. It's not something you want to do but at the end of the day, we find a way to get two points and stay in the (playoff) hunt."
Calgary remained two points out of a playoff spot with five games left in the regular season.
"We were pretty resilient," Calgary coach Darryl Sutter said. "There was a lot of things that could have taken you out of the game right? But it actually helped us in some ways."
Elias Pettersson, Conor Garland, Anthony Beauvillier and Aidan McDonough all scored for Vancouver, which lost its second straight in overtime to fall to 3-0-2 in its last five games. Thatcher Demko stopped 36 shots.
"We battled. It's tough," Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said. "They had six power plays. We couldn't handle their forecheck. I thought they were dumping a lot of pucks. And we tried to have a game plan, I thought a couple of guys didn't execute."
In the extra period, Backlund sprung Toffoli for a breakaway and the Flames forward made no mistakes, putting a shot up and over Demko to end the game.
The Flames forced overtime with a late power-play goal after Pettersson was called for high-sticking. Noah Hanifin sent a hard shot off the end boards from the point and the puck bounced to Huberdeau, who fired it past Demko from the bottom of the faceoff circle, tying the score 4-4 with 3:13 remaining in the third period.
Flames were 1 for 6 with the man advantage and the Canucks went 1 for 2.
Vancouver was outshot 11-6 in the first period, but led 1-0 going into the first intermission.
Garland started the scoring 8:30 into the game as he sprinted into Calgary territory on a breakaway and fired a shot under Markstrom's glove for his 14th goal of the season.
Pettersson made it 2-0 with a power-play goal 36 seconds into the second as he blasted a rocket past Markstrom from the top of the faceoff circle for his 36th goal of the season. It extended his point streak to a career-high 14 games, with eight goals and 12 assists in the stretch.
Toffoli tucked a backhanded shot in for his career-high 32nd to get the Flames on the scoreboard at 2:55 of the second.
The Flames tied it about six minutes later as Backlund's shot ricocheted of Demko's pad and Coleman batted the puck in from the top of the crease for his 18th.
The Canucks took a 3-2 lead when McDonough got his first NHL goal with 7:48 remaining in the middle period when he knocked in the rebound of Sheldon Dries' backhander.
"It was great," said McDonough, who celebrated the achievement on the ice with his childhood friend and Canucks teammate Jack Rathbone. "Obviously, you dream about scoring that on the driveway or in the backyard your whole life. And to get one there was, it was pretty special."
Stecher tied it with 4:08 left in the period as he got a cross-ice pass from Nazem Kadri and fired a shot past Demko for his second.
The Canucks went ahead again just 14 seconds later as Nils Aman found Beauvillier at the side of the net on a 2-on-1.
Vancouver led 4-3 after 40 minutes despite being outshot 26-12. Calgary had 11-2 edge in the third period.
The Canucks held their annual Pride night, featuring themed warm-up jerseys, special entertainment before and during the game, and video messages from people in the LGBTQ community.
Vancouver forward Andrei Kuzmenko skipped warm-ups in order to avoid wearing the special uniforms, designed by a local artist. He's the latest NHL player to refuse to wear a Pride jersey this season.
Flames: Host Anaheim on Sunday in the opener of a two-game homestand.
Canucks: Host Los Angeles on Sunday in the second of a five-game homestand.
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Updated April 1, 2023