Gaudreau and Tkachuk each have two points as Flames beat Canucks – .

Gaudreau and Tkachuk each have two points as Flames beat Canucks – .

CALGARY – Found with a few familiar trio mates, Johnny Gaudreau immediately felt the chemistry.
Skating alongside Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk, Gaudreau scored his first goal of the preseason and added an assist on Friday for the Calgary Flames in a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

Gaudreau had been skating with longtime teammate Sean Monahan and Andrew Mangiapane since the start of training camp.

When Flames coach Darryl Sutter chose to give Blake Coleman time off, he moved Gaudreau to a line with Lindholm and Tkachuk. The trio created a lot of chances.

“I played with them for a while last year and obviously I have a lot of chemistry with (Monahan),” said Gaudreau.

“Wherever I end up you have to try to create a chemistry as quickly as possible before the regular season starts and then get off on the right foot in the regular season. “

Gaudreau totaled 99 points in his last full 82-game season in 2018-19.

Since then, he has averaged less than a point per game in each of his last two seasons.

Gaudreau is entering the last season of his six-year contract.

“Johnny was really good tonight,” Sutter said. “With the lineup they had, he took advantage of it. “

Sutter noted that it was less of an experience and more of a situation where he wanted to let Coleman rest, who played until July to win the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“Blake Coleman played 23 games last spring and I won’t play him unless I have to. We will prepare him for the last two or three games (preseason games), ”said Sutter.

“He’s played more playoff games than a lot of the guys trying to make our team have all year. “

Tkachuk also had a goal and an assist in Calgary’s first preseason victory.

Mikael Backlund and Brett Ritchie, in an empty net, completed the scoring.

The Flames started the preseason 0-2-1

Jonah Gadjovich scored the only goal for the Canucks, who fell to 1-2-0.

“We deserved to lose tonight,” said Vancouver coach Travis Green. “I just didn’t think we had a really good game. We didn’t have a lot of good hockey players.

Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom got his first start in the preseason and turned away 14 of 15 shots in two periods. Dustin Wolf made seven saves in the third.

Thatcher Demko of Vancouver went the distance in his first preseason appearance and stopped 27 shots.

Gaudreau scored the game’s first goal at 3:18 pm of the first period, completing a tic-tac-toe cross-pass streak with Lindholm and Tkachuk.

Gaudreau topped it off with a shot under the crossbar as Demko rushed into the crease.

It was Gaudreau’s first goal in front of home fans at the Saddledome since March 6, 2020.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Gaudreau. “It’s been a long time and we get so much energy from them.

“To put them back in the rink, it’s great. “

Calgary led 2-0 at 3:30 of the second period thanks to Backlund’s second goal in the preseason.

The streak started with a big blow from Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov, who dropped his shoulder on Jason Dickinson as he tried to get the puck out to the Canucks’ side.

As Luke Schenn and Zack MacEwen immediately came to defend Dickinson, play continued and Backlund made the most of the open ice by collecting the loose puck and taking a shot past Demko.

Gadjovich’s deflection two minutes later cut the lead in half, but Tkachuk restored the two-goal cushion at 6:54 of the third.

He carefully deflected the pass to Connor Mackey’s cross over Demko’s shoulder. Gaudreau got the second assist.

Remarks: Emilio Pettersen moved closer to the roster when Coleman was taken out… The Flames are in Kent, Washington on Saturday to face the expansion Seattle Kraken.


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