Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko, right, looks on as Calgary Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau shoots wide of the net during second period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko, right, looks on as Calgary Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau shoots wide of the net during second period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Gaudreau nets OT winner, Markstrom earns shutout as Flames blank Canucks 1-0

Vancouver captain Horvat returns after missing five games in COVID protocol

Johnny Gaudreau’s goal 29 seconds into overtime on Saturday night gave the host Calgary Flames a 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

Jacob Markstrom’s 15 stops earned him his seventh shutout of the season. He improved to 16-10-5.

The game was scoreless at the end of regulation despite a 31-15 edge in shots for Calgary. The Flames got the deciding goal when Gaudreau took an Elias Lindholm drop pass, and from 25 feet out picked the low corner on Thatcher Demko on a slapshot.

Calgary (21-13-6) has won three straight at home while outscoring the opposition 13-2. The team will close off the pre-all-star break portion of its schedule with back-to-back road games starting on Tuesday in Dallas. They’ll play Arizona on Wednesday.

Vancouver (19-19-6) saw its three-game road winning streak come to an end. The Canucks are 3-1-3 in their last seven.

It was the Flames’ first 1-0 overtime victory since Blair Jones scored the winning goal in a win over Anaheim on Jan. 12, 2012.

Markstrom’s best stops came in the opening minute of the third period when Bo Horvat found open space down the right wing, but Markstrom got a blocker on it.

It was Horvat’s first game back after missing five games in COVID protocol. The Canucks captain centered a line with Elias Pettersson and Conor Garland.

Also just out of COVID protocol and making his first start since Jan. 18 was Demko, who missed four games. He made 31 saves. His record dropped to 17-14-2.

Scoreless through 40 minutes, Calgary enjoyed the best chances of the first couple periods.

At 14:22 of the second, Gaudreau was awarded a penalty shot after he was hooked from behind by Luke Schenn while on a breakaway.

Gaudreau has been on a tear with 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in 12 games since the Flames returned from an 18-day break in the schedule due to a team COVID outbreak.

However, on the penalty shot, Demko got an arm on his rising shot, deflecting the puck over the net. Gaudreau has one goal on three career penalty shots.

The Flames got a golden opportunity early in the game to surge ahead. Thirteen minutes into the first period, Vancouver defenceman Tyler Myers was assessed a match penalty for a check to the head after his heavy hit along the end boards on Trevor Lewis shook up the veteran Flames forward.

But up against the league’s worst-ranked penalty kill, Calgary only mustered two shots and wasn’t able to create any dangerous chances while allowing the Canucks to register their only shot of the period — a Tyler Motte backhand.

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The Flames finished 0 for 4 on the power play. Vancouver was 0 for 3. The Canucks got two power plays in the last half of the third period, but failed to generate a shot on either.

NOTES: Vancouver defenceman Tucker Poolman (upper body) did not play after getting injured last game. Taking his spot was Noah Juulsen… It was the first of four meetings between the two clubs, who faced each other 10 times last season.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

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