Goaltender Ryan Miller was satisfied with the victory, but wasn't happy the Vancouver Canucks needed overtime to defeat the Calgary Flames 2-1 on Saturday night. File Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI | License Photo
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Goaltender Ryan Miller was satisfied with the victory, but wasn't happy the Vancouver Canucks needed overtime to defeat the Calgary Flames 2-1 on Saturday night.
Miller played brilliantly most of the night but gave up a goal with only six seconds left in the third period, forcing the overtime.
Canuck defenseman Chris Tanev won the game when he scored his first goal of the season with 34 seconds gone in the 3-on-3 overtime.
"You get that far and you do get frustrated about handing a point back," said Miller, who finished with 35 saves. "We stepped up in overtime and got it done.
"Right now, we needed the win. I try not to dwell too much on the last one."
The win kept Vancouver's slim playoff hopes alive. The Canucks (26-27-6) moved to within four points of Calgary (29-26-4) in the race for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Tanev's goal came off a 2-on-1 breakaway. He took a pass from Daniel Sedin and beat Calgary goaltender Brian Elliott on the short side.
"It was good to get the win," said Tanev. "I got it (the puck) up to Danny then skated as fast as I could.
"I knew he would get the puck over if I could beat my guy."
Calgary outshot Vancouver 18-2 in the third period. Mark Giordano tied the game when he took a pass from Matthew Tkachuk and fired a shot from along the boards that beat Miller, who was partially screened on the play.
"I didn't get a look at the release," Miller said. "If I had seen the release I would have moved and gone with it.
"I waited that little bit and it just found a way."
Getting the win kept the Canucks in the playoff hunt. A regulation loss would have left Vancouver seven points behind Calgary.
"The win was big," said Miller, who earned his 356th career victory to move past Rogie Vachon for 19th on the NHL's all-time list among goaltenders. "We had to battle for it.
"The big thing was minimal odd-man rushes from a team that thrives on them. We pushed hard and we were battling."
Alex Edler scored Vancouver's other goal on a strange play in the first period.
The game was 7:16 old before Edler managed Vancouver's first shot on net. The Canuck defenseman barely stepped across the center line when he let go a fluttering shot that appeared to dip under Elliott's glove.
"There was nothing to it," said Edler, who scored his third goal of the season and second in 40 games. "I put it on net and it went in. It was lucky.
"That happens one out of 100 (times). I was surprised."
Elliott, who made 17 saves on the night, said Edler's shot was like a "five-foot sinker curveball."
"Not one that you want to give up but you can't really get hung up on it," he said.
"You move on and get that next opportunity to make as save. We got a point out of it. It's still frustrating."
The Flames' Troy Brouwer had a couple good scoring chances against Miller. In the second, Miller got a skate on a Brouwer shot off a 2-on-1 breakaway, then in the third made a pad save during a power play.
Considering how close the playoff race is, the Flames can't afford to give away points, Brouwer said, especially since Calgary controlled much of the game.
"At this point, there are no moral victories," he said. "We need points.
"The fact we were able to squeeze a point out with five seconds left is a huge plus. But throughout the entire game we had opportunities to even it up and put ourselves in a better position to get two points."
Vancouver looked to have taken a 2-0 lead when Bo Horvat scored off a scramble with 1:38 left in the first period. The goal was disallowed because the referee blew the play dead.
-- LW Brendan Gaunce returned to the Canucks' lineup after being a healthy scratch in Thursday's 4-2 loss to St. Louis.
-- RW Jayson Megna started the game on the top power-play unit, replacing C Brandon Sutter, who is playing with a wrist injury.
-- Prior to the game, a statue of Pat Quinn, a former Canucks coach and general manager, was unveiled outside Rogers Arena.
-- D Philip Larsen, D Alex Biega and C Reid Boucher were healthy scratches for Vancouver.
-- D Matt Bartkowski, who played 80 games with Vancouver last year, dressed for his first game with the Flames since signing with Calgary on Thursday.
-- C Alex Chiasson was a healthy scratch after receiving a major and game misconduct in Wednesday's victory over Philadelphia.
-- C Freddie Hamilton, a healthy scratch for the last eight games, replaced Chiasson.
-- RW Garnet Hathaway and D Jryki Jokipakka were healthy scratches.
-- The Flames continue their five-game road trip Tuesday in Nashville, while the Canucks host Philadelphia on Sunday.