CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Tyler Myers had two goals and an assist in the first period as the Vancouver Canucks built an early lead and beat the Calgary Flames 5-2 on Sunday night.
Tanner Pearson also scored twice and Jake Virtanen had a goal to help Vancouver win its fifth straight and move past Calgary and Arizona into second place in the Pacific Division. The Canucks are tied in points with the Coyotes, but have a game in hand.
Thatcher Demko, making his first start since Dec. 7 with Jacob Markstrom having started the last nine games, finished with 23 saves to improve to 8-4-1.
Rasmus Andersson and Noah Hanifin scored for Calgary, which has lost four straight at home. David Rittich was pulled after giving up three goals on seven shots over the first 10:52. Cam Talbot finished with 19 saves in relief.
Myers opened the scoring on a power play 3:29 in, scoring his second goal of the season on a 55-foot wrist shot that beat a partially screened Rittich.
Just over three minutes later, Myers struck again from the same distance, again on a wrist shot, only this time it came with nobody in front, his low shot squeaking through the pads of the Flames’ goalie. Myers matched his career high with his fifth two-goal game.
Virtanen extended the lead to 3-0 when he struck on the power play yet again. The Flames entered the night with the league's second-best penalty kill but Vancouver's fourth-best power-play was 2 for 2 early as Virtanen’s shot deflected in off Calgary defenseman Travis Hamonic's stick.
That goal ended the night for Rittich, who was pulled for the second time this season.
Calgary finally got on the scoreboard with 1:24 left in the second period. While the teams were playing 4-on-4, Andersson jumped into the rush and neatly buried a rebound of Sean Monahan’s shot.
The Canucks restored their three-goal cushion at 6:14 of the third when Pearson collected the puck in front, spun and sent a shot over Talbot's shoulder.
NOTES: Miikka Kiprusoff, the Flames’ all-time wins leader, was in attendance. Living in Finland since retiring, he got a standing ovation when he was introduced and there were chants of "Kipper, Kipper." ... Calgary LW Sam Bennett was a healthy scratch. He has no points in his last eight games. ... Canucks have scored 45 first period goals, which leads the NHL. Flames are last with 24.
Canucks: Host Chicago on Thursday night to open a two-game homestand.
Flames: Host Chicago on Tuesday night before wrapping up a three-game homestand against the New York Rangers on Thursday.
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