Flames 5, Canucks 3
CalgaryFlames enforcer Brian McGrattan beat up the Vancouver Canucks with more than his fists. McGrattan had a goal and an assist and fought Darcy Hordichuk in the Flames' 5-3 victory over the Canucks on Friday night. "Any way that you can contribute offensively is a boost for our team," McGrattan said. "We know our job. We have to play tough and physical in their end. If you can get a goal or two that really helps the team and helps the guys get going." Dustin Boyd also had a goal and an assist, Curtis Glencross, Nigel Dawes and Dion Phaneuf added goals, and Miikka Kiprusoff made 26 saves. "I was more happy when Grats scored," said Boyd, who assisted on McGrattan's goal that made it 5-0. "He said he didn't score for like three years or something." The last time McGrattan scored was April 3, 2006, during his rookie season with Ottawa. Since that time, he played 91 contests without scoring, including a five-game stint with Phoenix last season when he battled a shoulder injury and drinking problem that forced him to enter the NHL's substance abuse program. "To overcome the addiction part of things and to overcome major surgery, it's been tough, but I can kind of see the rewards now," McGrattan said. The Flames (5-2-1) built a 5-0 lead and chased Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo after two periods. With the victory, Calgary ended a three-game winless streak and moved Calgary into a tie with Colorado for top spot in the Northwest Division. Rick Rypien, Mikael Samuelsson and Christian Ehrhoff scored for Vancouver (2-4-0). "They had one of the stronger starts that I have seen so far this year," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "They were physical, they were strong on the puck and they generated a lot of scoring chances. For the first 15 minutes of the first period we had a really tough time handling it." Luongo stopped 14 of 19 shots he faced through two periods, while Andrew Raycroft stopped all five shots he faced in the final frame. "No one in here is blaming Luongo," Vancouver forward Ryan Kesler said. "He's a great goaltender and we gave up too many Grade A chances." Glencross put the Flames up 1-0 at 7:18 of the first period when he beat Luongo on a short-handed breakaway. Dawes gave the Flames a two-goal lead at 10:50 when he tipped Mark Giordano's shot out of the air and into the top corner behind Luongo during a power play. In the second, the Flames extended their lead to 4-0 when Phaneuf blasted a point shot through traffic past a screened Luongo, and Boyd neatly tipped McGrattan's shot out of the air and into the Vancouver net. NOTES: The Flames also beat the Canucks 5-3 at home on Oct. 1, the opening night of the NHL season. The two teams will meet four more times and conclude the regular season against each other. ... Calgary defenseman Jay Bouwmeester extended the NHL's longest current consecutive games streak to 350.