Calgary Flames

Burrows’ instigator suspension rescinded, allowed to play Game 4

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Sounds like Vancouver forward Alex Burrows will have his instigator-related suspension from late in Sunday’s loss to Calgary rescinded, meaning he’ll be eligible to play Game 4.

The report, per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, comes just hours after Burrows was given a five-minute fighting major, a two-minute boarding minor and the aforementioned instigator penalty following a scrap with Calgary d-man Kris Russell in Game 3:

Though NHL rules state that instigator penalties levied in the final moments of games can be grounds for suspension, it’s possible that Burrows’ ban was rescinded because he wasn’t judged to have been sending a message, or exacting retribution.

It’s also worth noting that the league has already rescinded an instigator penalty in this series — the one called against Flames defenseman Deryk Engelland in the waning moments of Game 2.

Update: NHL confirms it:

No hearing scheduled for Hamhuis after Bennett headshot

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Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis does not have a hearing scheduled following his illegal check to the head of Sam Bennett on Sunday night, per an NHL spokesman.

Here’s the hit in question, which earned Hamhuis a two minute minor:

Bennett, 18, returned to the ice shortly afte and was on for Jannik Hansen’s goal at 17:41 that cut Calgary’s lead to 4-2. Bennett didn’t play another shift following the goal.

The illegal check to the head was the second incident Hamhuis’ been in the middle of in as many games. During the brawl at the end of Game 2, he was the third man in a fight between Derek Dorsett and Deryk Engelland and received a game misconduct.

As for this latest incident, it’s worth nothing that NHL discipline czar Stephane Quintal could still schedule a hearing with Hamhuis for the Bennett hit. That said, it would need to happen rather quickly (and probably already would’ve) as the Flames and Canucks are right back in action tomorrow at the Saddledome.

Video: More late-game nastiness between Flames, Canucks

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They did it again.

After Friday’s wild Game 2 — in which the two sides combined for over 100 PIM during a wild line brawl — Calgary and Vancouver got after each other again late in Sunday’s Game 3, combining for 57 penalty minutes in the final frame:

As for potential ramifications, it’s possible Alex Burrows will receive a call from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety after accumulating five for fighting, two for boarding and two for instigating following his scrap with Kris Russell.

There’s also talk Dan Hamhuis could face supplemental discipline regarding his illegal check to the head on Sam Bennett.

Feisty Flames dump Canucks, win first home playoff game in six years

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Prior to tonight, the Saddledome faithful hadn’t seen postseason hockey since 2009.

They, and their Flames, savored the return.

And what a return it was, as the Flames rode a wave of emotion — and some gritty, physical play — to a 4-2 victory over Vancouver in Game 3 of their Western Conference first round matchup.

“It really helped us out tonight,” Flames center Sean Monahan said of the fan support.

“They were unbelievable,” added fellow forward Michael Ferland.

With the win, the Flames took a 2-1 lead in the series.

That win was also Calgary’s first in the playoffs at the Saddledome since defeating Chicago 6-4 in April of 2009. Back then, Mike Keenan was the coach and Jarome Iginla was the club’s veteran leader — a far cry from tonight, which further illustrated that Calgary’s youth movement isn’t just underway.

It’s thriving.

Sam Bennett, the 18-year-old playing in just his fourth NHL contest, scored what proved to be the game winner just 2:14 into the third period. Bennett, the fourth overall pick at the 2014 draft, notched his second point in three playoff games and helped solidify himself as a major contributor for a Calgary team that received plenty of support from the kids tonight.

Monahan, 20, scored an insurance marker for his first goal of the series. T.J. Brodie, 24, led the Flames with two points (1G, 1A). Ferland, 22, led all skaters with a game-high nine hits.

“They had a good forecheck. That’s the bottom line,” Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins said. “They got on our D. I thought they played physical all night. We turned over the first goal on the wall, where we couldn’t get it out. They did a good job on us.

“We have to be better. We weren’t good enough. We know that.”

Ferland’s ferocity embodied how the Flames played for most of the evening. They out-hit Vancouver 33-18 on the night and seemed to feed off a frenzied home crowd. They also carried over the emotion from the end of Game 2, when a wild brawl ended with over 130 minutes in penalties; Kris Russell squared off with Alex Burrows late in tonight’s third period, followed by a tilt between Ferland and Kevin Bieksa.

(Burrows was given an instigator penalty for his antics with Russell, and could be subjected to further discipline from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. Dan Hamhuis could also be getting a call for a headshot on Bennett in the third period.)

As for Vancouver, tonight might prove a wake-up call. The Canucks controlled proceedings at Rogers Arena on Friday night but were unable to do the same this evening, and often looked to be the older, slower and less energetic team. If there was a bright spot, it was that some secondary scorers — Shawn Matthias and Jannik Hansen — scored their first goals of the series.

But that might be it, as far as silver linings go. Sunday night was all about Calgary.

Notes…

The Flames made a pair of lineup changes tonight: Tyler Wotherspoon drew in on defense for Corey Potter, while Mason Raymond played up front in place of Markus Granlund… Eddie Lack stopped 23 of 27 shots for Vancouver, Jonas Hiller stopped 23 of 25 for the Flames… It was another busy third period for the scorekeepers tonight, as the two teams combined for 57 PIM in the final frame.

Video: Bennett’s first NHL goal gives Calgary 3-1 lead

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It’s been quite a start to Sam Bennett’s NHL career.

Bennett, the fourth overall pick at the 2014 draft, scored his first-ever NHL goal on Sunday night to give the Flames a 3-1 lead on Vancouver in Game 3 of their opening-round series.

The 18-year-old, who debuted in Calgary’s regular-season finale against Winnipeg, has been a major contributor for Calgary through three playoff games. Bennett assisted on Kris Russell’s game-winning tally with 30 seconds left in Game 1, then dished out a pair of hits in just over 10 minutes in Game 2 (missing some time with an undisclosed injury midway through the contest.)

Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see what the Flames do with Bennett as he gets closer to the nine games-played threshold. Once he hits it, he’ll be in line to “burn” the first year of his entry level deal; that said, Calgary GM Brad Treliving said prior to the playoffs there would be “no restriction” with playing Bennett as much as the situation calls for — and given how well he’s played through his first three postseason appearances, he won’t be coming out of the lineup anytime soon.