Vancouver, BC, Canada (4E Sports) – On the eve of his 22nd birthday, winger Zack Kassian gave Vancouver fans something to celebrate, delivering a goal and adding the game-winning score in the shootout as the Canucks defeated the Calgary Flames, 3-2, for their first win Wednesday at Rogers Arena.
Kassian scored an unassisted goal for his second score of the season and added a goal in the fifth round of the shootout to give the Canucks (1-2) their first win in three games.
Kassian, who was traded by the Buffalo Sabres for Cody Hodgson late last season, credited his outstanding play to the comfortable environment provided by the Canucks.
“From management down to the coaches to the players, I definitely feel more comfortable,” said Kassian. “As a player, the more comfortable you feel, the better you play.”
Mason Raymond scored his first goal on a Power Play in the second quarter while Cory Schneider returned to the starting lineup and tallied 34 saves in regulation and overtime and sealed Vancouver’s first win by stopping Curtis Glencross in shootout.
“It’s fun having the game on the line and you gotta make a save,” said Schneider, who was replaced by veteran Roberto Luongo Sunday. “That’s an opportunity I relish.”
“He responded the way I expected he would respond – by playing well,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said of Schneider.
Kassian opened scoring with a strong individual effort 6:20 into the second period before Raymond made it 2-0 with a power play goal.
However, the Flames tied the game before the second period ended behind Alex Tanguay’s second goal of the young season and Mikael Backlund’s power-play score.
Miikka Kiprusoff finished with 34 saves for the Flames (0-2), who remain winless under new coach Bob Hartley, but picked up their first point.
“We generated lots of confidence out of this,” Hartley said. “The beauty of hockey is it’s a game of momentum. There’s lots of swings and it seems at least we always find a way to get back in the game and we’re not quitting, so I think that is a very positive point.”