VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Thatcher Demko had 38 saves and the Vancouver Canucks withstood a late barrage Tuesday and held on for a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames.
Tyler Myers, Travis Hamonic and Brock Boeser each had a goal and an assist for the Canucks. Rookie Nils Hoglander rounded out the scoring for Vancouver with a goal in the closing minute of the first period.
Vancouver coach Travis Green says his team is playing hard to finish out the season, even in the low-stakes games.
“We don’t go out on the ice to lose hockey games,” Green said. “We want guys that are competitive, we want guys that play to win. And it’s good that we’re doing that.”
The Canucks and Demko seemed poised for a shutout until Andrew Mangiapane scored for the Flames late in the third. Matthew Tkachuk added Calgary’s second goal with a minute left in the third period.
“It was a good 60 minutes. Obviously they pushed a little bit there in the third but you had to expect that and I thought we handled it pretty well,” Demko said.
Louis Domingue played his first game for the Flames and stopped 20 of 23 shots. Uncertain about his future in the game, Domingue said the game might have been his last in the NHL.
“In the back of my mind this might be my last game, this might not be,” he said. “I don’t know what the next year is going to look like for me, but I’m definitely glad I get to play and as the game went on, I definitely felt more comfortable and felt more like I belong.”
Domingue said when he signed with the Flames as a free agent in October, he believed he’d be playing more. Instead, he’s spent much of the year on Calgary’s taxi squad.
“To be honest I don’t think that taxi squad was very good for any players,” he said. “I don’t think that was a good solution for anyone and it’s pretty unfortunate, because we saw a lot of guys that didn’t get a lot of playing time that played in the minors and whatnot so pretty disappointed with the taxi squad situation. But it is what it is.”
The Flames and Canucks will wrap up their seasons Wednesday with a matinee in Calgary.
Calgary holds a 6-3 lead in the 10-game season series between the two teams.
Boeser scored his team-leading 23rd goal of the year, sending a puck bouncing through the neutral zone and into the Flames net after Domingue was pulled in the game’s closing minutes.
Tkachuk brought Calgary within 3-2 with a minute remaining in the third, scoring his 14th goal of the season.
The Flames spoiled Demko’s shutout attempt with less than four minutes left on the clock.
Adam Ruzicka went into the end boards, but stayed with the puck, getting it to a waiting Milan Lucic. Lucic then passed it to Mangiapane at the top of the crease and the Flames forward snapped it in for his 17th goal of the season.
The tally extended Mangiapane’s scoring streak to four games. He has four goals and an assist across the stretch.
Myers rifled a shot past Domingue from the bottom of the slot 9:28 into the third to give the Canucks a 3-0 lead.
Boeser earned an assist on the play, extending his point streak to four games. He has two goals and three assists since May 13.
A questionable hit midway through the second period prompted a skirmish in the Flames end.
Flames defenseman Connor Mackey tried to lay out Tanner Pearson along the boards, sending the Vancouver forward rolling on the ice.
Canucks captain Bo Horvat took issue with the play and dropped the gloves with Mackey. Both were handed five-minute penalties for fighting.
It was the second game in a row where Mackey has fought a Canucks player. He tussled with Jonah Gadjovich in Calgary’s 6-5 overtime win on Sunday.
Vancouver briefly appeared to pad its lead 8:49 into the second when a long blast from Myers snuck under Domingue’s glove.
The Flames challenged the play and video review determined Canucks forward Travis Boyd had been offside when he entered Calgary’s zone.
The Canucks went up 2-0 ahead of the first intermission after Hoglander scored with 48.6 seconds left in the opening period.
Matthew Highmore tried to jam a shot in from the top of the crease and Hoglander picked up the rebound and put a shot over Domingue’s glove for his 13th goal of the season.
Hamonic put Vancouver on the board 9:43 into the first with a shot that sailed over Domingue’s blocker, clanking off the post and in.
It was the third goal of the season for the former Flames defenseman.
NOTES: Domingue’s previous game action was on March 1, 2020, when he played for Vancouver. The 29-year-old goaltender signed with Calgary as a free agent in October. … Canucks forward Will Lockwood made his NHL debut. Vancouver selected the 22-year-old 64th overall in the 2016 draft. Lockwood had four goals and seven assists in 24 American Hockey League games this season.
The teams will end the regular season on Wednesday afternoon in Calgary, Alberta.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports