Vancouver Canucks’ Elias Pettersson, right, battles for position with Calgary Flames’ Chris Tanev during first period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Gaudreau has 2 points as Flames torch Vancouver Canucks 5-2

B.C. squad drops to 1-3 early in NHL season

Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist for the host Calgary Flames in Monday’s 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Mikael Backlund, Elias Lindholm, Mark Giordano and Rasmus Andersson with an empty-net goal also scored for the Flames (2-0-1).

Calgary goaltender Jacob Markstrom earned a second straight win over his former team with 25 saves.

Jake Virtanen and Tyler Myers replied for the Canucks (1-3-0), who played their fourth road game in six days. Thatcher Demko stopped 27 shots in the loss.

Markstrom, a Canuck for seven seasons before signing with Calgary in October, had posted a 32-save shutout in Calgary’s 3-0 win Saturday.

Demko was pulled for an extra attacker with four minutes to play, and Vancouver went to work on a two-man advantage when Calgary’s Andrew Mangiapane took a tripping minor at 16:56.

The visitors didn’t produce another goal, however, and Andersson scored into an empty net with 55 seconds remaining in regulation.

Vancouver’s Myers scored short-handed at 13:15 of the third period.

Giordano teed up a blast from the top of the face-off circle that Demko couldn’t get his glove on for a power-play goal at 6:40 of the third period.

Outplayed in the first period, Calgary’s 20-3 margin in shots in the second was bolstered by four power-play chances and winning more draws in the face-off circle.

Lindholm one-timed Gaudreau’s cross-ice feed by Demko with just two seconds remaining in the period during Calgary’s two-man advantage.

Canucks defenceman Myers had joined Elias Pettersson in the penalty box after punching Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk in the face.

The hosts led 2-1 by 13:30 when Backlund scored his first goal of the season. The Swedish centre rifled a rebound over Demko.

Gaudreau pulled the Flames even at 12:05 on a give-and-go with Sean Monahan and Dominik Simon providing a screen.

Canuks winger J.T. Miller returned from COVID-19 protocol that kept him out of Vancouver’s lineup the first three games of the regular season, but defenceman Jordie Benn has yet to play a regular-season game.

READ MORE: Markstrom’s 32-save shutout lifts Flames to 3-0 win over Vancouver Canucks

The visitors outshot Calgary 16-4 and dominated the face-off circle in the first period, but led just 1-0 due to Markstrom’s work.

The Flames goaltender turned away five shots on a Vancouver power play starting two and a half minutes after the opening faceoff.

Virtanen’s long shot from the high boards deflected off Flames defenceman Juuso Valimaki and by Markstrom’s shoulder at 10:17.

The Canucks return to Vancouver for a six-game homestand. They’ll play 11 games in their first 18 days of an NHL regular season shortened and condensed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Calgary, by contrast, has a five-day break before hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday afternoon.

Notes: The Flames signed 30-year-old defenceman Mike Stone to a one-year, two-way contract Monday … Canucks defenceman Nate Schmidt played his 400th career NHL game Monday.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

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