CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Special teams and special goaltending.
The Flames, winning a home playoff game for the first time since
1995, scored two goals 27 seconds apart in the second period. Their
power play, silenced for the first 22 chances, also came alive in
Calgary's first win at home against the Canucks in 11 tries.
The series resumes Thursday with Game 5 at Vancouver.
Coming back from a lower-body injury, Yelle helped clear the
puck out of the Flames' zone, then took a pass from Clark before
burying the puck past Vancouver goalie Johan Hedberg.
"Chris Clark made a great play, I got the puck in the slot and
just shot it," said Yelle. "It feels good to score short-handed
and get the team going."
With two Stanley Cup rings in seven seasons with the Colorado Avalanche before being traded to Calgary in 2002, Yelle is one of the most experienced players on a young Flames team.
"We've worked hard at our overall game this year, and I think we
have a team that's prepared for the playoffs," he said. "Tonight,
our preparation and focus was good, and we stuck to our game for 60
minutes and it paid off."
Yelle scored just one minute into the second period against
Hedberg, who faced 31 shots in his first full playoff game for
Vancouver after replacing injured Dan Cloutier in Game 3 on Sunday
"We have a lot of young guys in the room," Calgary's Shean Donovan said of Yelle, "and we look up to him a lot to add that leadership."
Calgary's penalty killers had been roundly criticized after the
first three games of the series, with Vancouver scoring on six of
15 power plays. But the addition of Yelle, who replaced injured
power forward Chris Simon, appeared to stabilize the unit, which
was fifth in the league for short-handed goals during the season.
Calgary's second goal, on the power play, came on a right-wing
blast by Clark. And 27 seconds later, Donovan put the Flames ahead
But Donovan credited Yelle with turning the game in Calgary's
"Obviously he's one of the best penalty killers in the
league," Donovan said.
In an attempt to generate some offense, Vancouver pulled Hedberg
with more than three minutes left in the third period. But Calgary
responded with an empty-net goal by Jarome Iginla.
Game 4 followed the same gritty, hard-hitting play of the first
three. And the pace was set early when Iginla crashed Vancouver
defenseman Mattias Ohlund hard into the boards twice on one shift.
Ohlund has shadowed Iginla effectively through most of the series.
"I thought we got outbattled for some pucks in our zone," said
Canucks coach Marc Crawford. "I was concerned about the slippage
in coverage, and you can't have that in the playoffs."
Canucks forward Brendan Morrison said Calgary won more of the
one-on-one confrontations throughout the game.
"They were better than us in the battles," he said. "They
were more physical, and they deserved to win."
Martin Gelinas leads the Flames in playoff experience
with 124 games in 15 years in the NHL. ... Defenseman Toni Lydman,
hurt in Game 3, is out with a suspected concussion and was
replaced by Mike Commodore. It was the first NHL playoff game for 24-year-old Commodore. ... Tuesday's attendance in Calgary was
19,289, the 12th straight sellout at the Saddledome.