Vancouver Canucks

Canucks end five-game skid, extend Flames’ drop to eight

At least the Calgary Flames finally got a point. It didn’t look like they would even be able to do that much early in tonight’s game against the Vancouver Canucks, but it’s hard for the Flames to be happy with their 3-2 overtime loss given that it extended their slump to eight games.

The Flames started the contest on a rough note as a botched passing attempt on a delayed penalty led to them scoring on their own net.

“Right now, every time we make a mistake, the puck is in our net,” Flames bench boss Bob Hartley said, per PHT’s Jason Brough.

Vancouver got its first earned goal 9:24 minutes into the contest courtesy of Radim Vrbata:

The Canucks held the lead for most of this contest, but David Jones put the Flames within one in the second period and rookie Johnny Gaudreau scored at 7:05 of the third period to send this one to overtime.

Christopher Tanev, who turned 25 on Saturday, made it a memorable birthday by scoring the overtime winner. It was his fourth career game-winning goal. With that, Vancouver ended its own slump at five games.

“We handled the pressure today when they came back, we played our system,” Henrik Sedin said, per the Cancuks’ Twitter feed. “It wasn’t creative but it’s a win.”

Calgary is now three points behind in the battle for a Wild Card spot with a 17-15-3 record.

Video: Hansen collapses on bench after absorbing hard hit

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For a moment, it looked like Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen would be able to continue playing after absorbing a hard hit from Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman.

Hansen skated to the bench on his own strength, but it wasn’t long before he collapsed and his worried teammates frantically signaled for help.

You can see what happened below:

He was helped to the dressing room and kept out of the remainder of the game for precautionary reasons, per the Canucks’ Twitter feed. He was taken to the hospital and everything checked out, according to Canucks coach Willie Desjardins.

Although the circumstances and outcome of both incidents are significantly different, some will no doubt think of what happened to Rich Peverley earlier this year in relation to this incident.

Video: Flames score on their own empty net

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The Calgary Flames’ Cinderella season has taken a dramatic and ugly turn lately. They’ve lost seven straight games — all in regulation — and fell behind 2-0 early in tonight’s contest against Vancouver.

To make matters more demoralizing for them though, the Canucks’ first goal was blooper reel worthy as a botched passing attempt in Vancouver’s zone on a delayed penalty led to the Flames accidentally scoring on their own empty net.

You can see that below:

Per NHL rules, someone on the Vancouver Canucks had to be credited with that goal, so congratulations Yannick Weber on your second of the season.

Goalie nods: Corey Crawford returns

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All the latest from the blue paint …

Corey comes back for Chicago

The Chicago Blackhawks have been playing quite well in Corey Crawford’s absence, as Scott Darling and Antti Raanta have put up almost identically nice numbers. Still, there’s something to be said for stability, and Chicago will get that back tonight as Crawford faces off against the always-limping Columbus Blue Jackets.

Crawford, 29, was on quite the hot run before he went down with a lower-body injury, too. He won his last three games, allowing four goals combined. Crawford also won six of seven and eight of 10.

His overall numbers have been impressive, even if the strong team in front of him certainly helps matters; Crawford is 12-5-1 with a .929 save percentage and one shutout.

The Blackhawks will probably face Sergei Bobrovsky tonight as they hope to continue their domination of Columbus.

Elsewhere …

Coyotes at Kings: Devan Dubnyk vs. (probably) Jonathan Quick

Capitals at Devils: Braden Holtby vs. Cory Schneider

Lightning at Islanders: Andrei Vasilevskiy vs. Jaroslav Halak

Flyers at Maple Leafs: Ray Emery’s expected, Jonathan Bernier’s confirmed

Senators at Canadiens: Robin Lehner vs. Carey Price

Rangers at Hurricanes: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Cam Ward

Panthers at Penguins: Roberto Luongo vs. Marc-Andre Fleury

Avalanche at Sabres: Calvin Pickard vs. Jhonas Enroth

Predators at Wild: Pekka Rinne vs. Darcy Kuemper

Flames at Canucks: Jonas Hiller vs. Ryan Miller

Blues at Sharks: Jake Allen vs. Antti Niemi

As holiday roster freeze approaches, Bruins linked to Oshie, Kassian

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Tonight at midnight is the start of the NHL’s holiday roster freeze, which goes until Dec. 27 and keeps teams from trading, loaning, or waiving players.

So if the Boston Bruins are going to add a top-six right winger to play with David Krejci and Milan Lucic, as many believe they will and should, they’ll have to do it today or wait until the freeze ends.

Chances are, they’ll wait. Which is good, because it will give us more time to speculate about who they’ll add.

Buffalo’s Chris Stewart is one name that’s been out there for a while, and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman named a couple more yesterday on FAN 590 radio.

According to Friedman, “in the right situation, T.J. Oshie is available” out of St. Louis.

This isn’t the first time Oshie’s name has been mentioned by a prominent member of the hockey media. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, among others, has raised the possibility.

Oshie, 27, is signed through 2016-17 for a cap hit of $4.175 million, raising the question of how the B’s would fit him in under the cap.

Which brings us to Vancouver’s Zack Kassian. While Friedman admits this is “a bit more of a longer shot,” Kassian’s $1.75 million cap hit is significantly lower than Oshie’s.

And hey, the Bruins have had success getting young power forwards out of Vancouver in the past, right?

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