Through five games of its series with the Flames, the Canucks never scored more than two goals in a single period.
On Saturday night, they picked a good time to do it.
Vancouver scored three times in just over seven minutes in the first period of Game 6, jumping out to a crucial lead as it tries to fight off elimination for a second straight game.
Brandon McMillan scored his first as a Canuck — in just his second playoff game with the team — at the 2:36 mark, then Jannik Hansen scored shorthanded just over five minutes later to make it 2-0.
Then, the trio that often carried Vancouver this season — Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and Radim Vrbata — connected in style, with Vrbata netting his second goal of the series to put the Canucks up by three.
Calgary was able to claw one back with just under three minutes in the period, as Michael Ferland scored following a 2-on-1 with Matt Stajan.
The Calgary Flames could get a look at one of their brightest prospects on Tuesday when they take on the Rangers at MSG.
Today, the Flames called up Emile Poirier — the 22nd overall pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft — from AHL Adirondack, to fill one of the roster voids with Paul Byron going on IR and Matt Stajan leaving the team for the birth of his son.
The Flames also called up Michael Ferland, who appeared in 10 NHL games last season.
Most eyes, though, will be on the 20-year-old Poirier, the former QMJHL Gatineau standout that made the AHL All-Star Game this year as a rookie (Poirier leads Adirondack with 14 goals and 30 points this season.)
Taken one spot ahead of Washington rookie Andre Burakovsky in ’13 — with the pick Calgary acquired from St. Louis in the Jay Bouwmeester trade — Poirier is regarded for his strong shot and skating ability, both of which have served him well at the American League level.
“He’s one of those guys that tends to find the areas where the pucks are going to be, and he puts himself in a good position to shoot. He’s got a great shot when he does let it go,” Adirondack head coach Ryan Huska said, per NHL.com. “He’s a deceiving skater.
“I would bet most defensemen in our conference know who he is and when he’s on the ice because they have to be on their toes when he’s out there because he skates very, very well.”
Edmonton Oilers’ defenseman Keith Aulie has been suspeneded two games as a result of his hit on Calgary Flames’ forward Matt Stajan Wednesday.
Aulie was assessed a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct during the first period of the Oilers’ 4-3 overtime loss.
Stajan remained in the game but was limited to just seven mintues.
It is the first suspension of Aulie’s career. He will forfeit $8,602.16 in salary during the suspension.
Edmonton Oilers defenseman Keith Aulie was tossed in the first period of Wednesday’s game against the provincial rival Calgary Flames.
According to NBC Sports, Aulie was assessed a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct for a hit involving Calgary’s Matt Stajan, giving the Flames a five-minute power play. The Oilers were forced to go with five blue liners after that. According to Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun, Stajan was not on the bench to begin the second period.
Updated: As per Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald, Stajan has returned to the Calgary bench.
The Calgary Flames have been hit hard enough by injuries that it looks like fading prospect Sven Baertschi will get a chance to make an impact.
The Calgary Sun’s Wes Gilbertson notes that Joe Colborne was added to IR, and while Michael Ferland’s status isn’t technically the same, both are added to an injury list that includes Mikael Backlund, Matt Stajan and Mason Raymond.
It’s an understatement to say that hopes have hit an all-time low for Baertschi, 22, lately. The 13th overall pick of the 2011 NHL Draft hasn’t scored a goal in 10 AHL games, pairing an ugly -8 rating with a modest trio of assists.
He was one of the final cuts heading out of the preseason and seems to have stalled – if not regressed – in his development.
This is a huge opportunity for the Swiss-born prospect to turn things around for himself, especially as his name has been attached to some trade rumors. He’s obviously young enough that it’s hyperbolic to say that this run will make or break his career, but there’s a feeling that it could do a lot to improve his image in the Flames organization.
Maybe he’ll benefit from a little jolt of excitement, then?