Jacob Markstrom’s 32-save shutout against his former club spurred the host Calgary Flames to a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.
Sean Monahan, Dillon Dube and Matthew Tkachuk scored power-play goals in Calgary’s home-opener, which was the first NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome since March 8, 2020 for a span of 10 months and eight days.
Canada’s NHL clubs are playing in empty arenas to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Vancouver goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 32 of 35 shots in the loss.
Flames off-season acquisitions Markstrom, defenceman Chris Tanev and forward Josh Leivo faced their former Canucks teammates Saturday.
Markstrom played a combined 243 regular-season and playoff games for Vancouver, while Tanev played 10 seasons and Leivo his last two for the Canuck.
Both Markstrom and Tanev made life difficult for their former club. Tanev led the Flames in blocked shots with seven including three when Calgary was short-handed.
Former Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic returned to the Saddledome wearing Canuck colours.
Jacob Markstrom. pic.twitter.com/s5R9j0LIEs
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) January 17, 2021
Tkachuk had time to go backhand to forehand on a Johnny Gaudreau rebound at beat Holtby’s outstretched right pad at 15:16 of the third period.
Andrew Mangiapane sent a behind-the-back backhanded feed across the high slot for Dube to rifle over Holtby’s shoulder at 16:22 of the second.
The hosts killed off a Canucks two-man advantage for 81 seconds in the opening period. Markstrom turned away three shots and Tanev blocked two attempts during it.
Tkachuk on Holtby’s left fed Monahan in the slot for a power-play goal at 8:31.
The Canucks (1-2-0) played their third road game in four nights to start the regular season. They play again Monday in Calgary before returning to Vancouver.
Calgary (1-0-1) has a more gentle start to its regular season with a five-day break following Monday’s rematch.
The Flames paid tribute to team president Ken King, who died March 11, and Calgary Police Service Sgt. Andrew Harnett who was killed while working New Year’s Eve.
Notes: Flames goaltender David Rittich dressed Saturday after sitting out the season-opener because of family issues … Off-season acquisition Dominik Simon made his Flames debut Saturday … Calgary is 9-8-3 in home openers since turn of the century.
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press