CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Sean Monahan, Dillon Dube and Matthew Tkachuk scored power-play goals and Jacob Markstrom’ made 32 saves and shut out his former team as the Calgary Flames beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 Saturday night.
Calgary’s home-opener was the first NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome since March 8, 2020, a span of 10 months and eight days.
“It’s a great team win,” Markstrom said. “It’s weirder than I thought it would be. It’s weird seeing the team you played for so long on the other side. I just tried to do my part and stay focused on the puck. The guys in front of me played a great game.”
Vancouver goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 32 of 35 shots in the loss.
Flames offseason acquisitions Markstrom, defenseman Chris Tanev and forward Josh Leivo faced their former Canucks teammates.
“Tonight’s a special game for those guys, they’ve been on that team for a while and were playing against them for first time,” Monahan said. “Marky stood on his head tonight and had some big saves.”
Markstrom played a combined 243 regular-season and playoff games for Vancouver, while Tanev played 10 seasons, and Leivo his last two for the Canucks.
Both Markstrom and Tanev made life difficult for their former club. Tanev led the Flames in blocked shots with seven including three when Calgary was short-handed.
Flames coach Geoff Ward agreed the game was special for the former Canucks players, but saw more importance in the win.
“The game is special for them, but the bigger thing they will be talking about is that we had a more complete effort tonight than we did in Winnipeg, so it is a stepping stone for us,” Ward said.
“I felt we were able to utilize the depth of our lineup better than we did in our first game.”
Former Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic returned to the Saddledome with the Canucks.
The Canucks (1-2-0) played their third road game in four nights.
“It’s no secret we need to get more shots into the net,” Canucks coach Travis Green said. “It was one of those games where there wasn’t alot of space for either team.
“We’re a little stagnant, I think. We’re not getting shots through.”
NOTES: Flames goaltender David Rittich dressed Saturday after sitting out the season-opener because of family issues. … Off-season acquisition Dominik Simon made his Flames debut Saturday. … Calgary is 9-8-3 in home openers since turn of the century.
The Flames and Canucks complete a two-game set on Monday.
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