Lack makes 18 saves as Canucks blank Flames 2-0

The Vancouver Canucks haven’t missed a beat with rookie Eddie

Lack filling in for injured starting goalie Roberto Luongo.

Jannik Hansen scored the winning goal, and Lack made 18 saves to

lead the Canucks to a 2-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday

night.

Lack, making his third consecutive start with Luongo (lower

body) on the injured list, won his fifth straight and earned his

second shutout.

”It was a pretty easy night for me,” Lack said. ”I had to be

sharp a couple times, but overall I felt that our D-men boxed them

out really good.”

Lack improved to 7-2 and moved into third place in the NHL with

a 1.74 goals-against average. His .933 save percentage is sixth

best.

”The guys are playing awesome in front of me,” Lack said. ”I

can’t really complain about anything. I just want to keep it

going.”

Vancouver took the lead in the final minute of the first period

on a terrific breakaway pass from Henrik Sedin and an even better

finish by the speedy Hansen.

With the puck inside his blue line, Sedin spotted Hansen darting

up the ice. Looking like a quarterback, Sedin paused as Hansen got

open behind Mark Giordano and lofted a long pass that connected at

the Flames’ blue line.

Hansen controlled the puck and quickly whipped a shot past

goalie Reto Berra.

”I saw an opportunity for us to turn the puck over in our end,

so took a chance that we were going to get it,” Hansen said.

”Fortunately enough it ends up on Hank’s tape and he’s able to

feather it through.

”It jumped on me, and I think that fooled the goalie a little

bit, too – maybe caught him a little bit out of position and

leaving a little more room than he would have liked to.”

Mike Santorelli also scored for Vancouver (23-11-6), 10-1-1 in

its last 12.

”If you look at the standings, it’s extremely tight,” Hansen

said. ”If you’re not stringing wins together, you’re not going

anywhere. We’ve played a tremendous December and we’re still fourth

in our division.”

Calgary (14-19-6) fell to 1-2 on its five-game homestand.

Coming off a 2-0 loss to Edmonton on Friday, the Flames have

been shut out at home for a span of 125 minutes and 5 seconds.

”Goal scoring, that’s the toughest part of this league,”

Flames coach Bob Hartley said. ”Right now, we have a few guys that

are squeezing the sticks.”

Berra (5-10-2) was sharp throughout. He kept the game 1-0 until

1:16 was left in the game when Santorelli converted on a 2-on-1

rush on Vancouver’s 30th shot.

It took a while for Lack to face his first shot. The Canucks

built a 10-0 edge in the first period before Lack made a solid save

at the 13 minute mark off Mike Cammalleri.

The game got off to a rousing start when rugged Flames

fourth-liner Brian McGrattan got his arm up high on a heavy hit

along the side boards in the Canucks end that caught defenseman

Andrew Alberts in the head and flattened him.

While Alberts remained down and not , McGrattan squared off in a

fight with Canucks enforcer Tom Sestito.

McGrattan, who entered the night with 34 penalty minutes in 35

games, received a fighting major, an elbowing major, and a game

misconduct.

Alberts didn’t return.

NOTES: Henrik Sedin needed stitches after getting hit in the ear

by a puck in warmups. He played in his 669th consecutive game, the

second longest active streak and sixth longest in NHL history. …

Flames C Markus Granlund, recalled early Sunday from Abbotsford

(AHL), didn’t play because Mikael Backlund was in the lineup.

Granlund, 20, has never played in an NHL game. … Calgary’s only

lineup change was inserting Derek Smith on defense for Chris Breen.

… Twenty-five of the Flames 39 games have been decided by one

goal, which leads the NHL.