CALGARY, Alberta -- Thanks to their potent offense, the new-look Vancouver Canucks are off to a strong start.
Pavol Demitra scored with 1:06 left in overtime to give the Canucks a 5-4 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night. Vancouver outscored Calgary 11-4 in sweeping the season-opening home-and-home series.
"It's a great feeling, a win in this building, and a good start at 2-0," Demitra said. "Everybody on this team is having a good time, everyone's contributing."
After Michael Cammalleri lost the puck deep in the Canucks' end, Vancouver broke out on a 3-on-1 rush led by Alex Burrows. Burrows waited patiently before sending the puck across the to Demitra at the edge of the crease and he banged it in the open side for his first goal of the season.
"When you go to the net, good things happen," Demitra said. "I was a little bit lucky but Burrows made a good play. I think he lost the puck and it came right to my stick and I just put it in the net."
Flames captain Jarome Iginla was held without a point for the second straight night but did get his name on the scoresheet by getting in a spirited first-period fight with veteran Canucks defenseman Willie Mitchell.
"It was typical Vancouver-Calgary game," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "It was physical, there were a lot of good scraps, it was a good hockey game. ... We just stuck to what we needed to do, our guys battled hard. We wanted to win the second [period], we won the second, we wanted to win the third, we won the third, and we were able to get it done in overtime."
Trailing 4-3 to begin the third, Sedin's second goal of the game pulled the Canucks even at 6:10 on a one-timer from the slot after getting open behind defenseman Marc Giordano and being set up perfectly from behind the net by brother Henrik Sedin.
"It's really frustrating, we're obviously pretty upset," Cammalleri said. "To be up 3-1 then 4-3, at home like this, it's a must-win for sure."
Most disconcerting for the Flames again Saturday night was costly breakdowns in the defensive end.
"We're giving up a lot of point-blank things, bang-bang plays right in front, we're not giving Kiprusoff much of a chance," Iginla said. "We've got to tighten that up, we know we do, and we'll keep working at it."
Calgary broke a 3-3 tie at 14:08 of the second period when Cammalleri and Bourque combined for their second goal of the night.
Bourque, who earlier connected on a set up from Cammalleri, was the playmaker this time, steaming into the Canucks zone, cutting to his left to evade a Canucks defenseman, and firing a slap shot toward Roberto Luongo.
The screened Canucks goaltender got a stick on it but was unable to corral the rebound and Cammalleri, while falling, swiped in the loose puck.
Daniel Sedin gave the Canucks a 1-0 lead, jamming a harmless looking shot from the side of the net past Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff at 2:11 of the first period.
Calgary tied it just 38 seconds later when Roy slapped a rolling puck past Luongo, who blanked the Flames two nights earlier, from the slot.
Bertuzzi and Bourque scored 37 seconds apart midway through the opening period to give Calgary a 3-1 lead.
The Canucks tied it in the second when Rypien and Kesler scored 1:02 apart. Kesler charged the net and slid into the Flames' goal as part of a pileup of players, managing to get his stick on the puck in the process with 9:17 left in the period.
Neither team scored on the power play, with Calgary going 0-for-7 and the Canucks finishing up 0-for-6. The Flames are 0-for-13 through their first two games.
Vancouver D Kevin Bieksa was shaken up 5 minutes into the first period after a collision with Wayne Primeau. Bieksa left the ice gingerly and did not return. ... Calgary D Robyn Regehr made his season debut after missing the opener due to the birth of his first child. ... The Flames also made a lineup change up front, inserting rookie Brandon Prust for Dustin Boyd. ... Calgary's 6-0 loss on Thursday was its largest margin of defeat since a 7-1 setback to Phoenix on Jan. 23, 2003. ... Calgary's next meeting with Vancouver will also be a home-and-home series beginning Nov. 27 in Vancouver.