Edler plays hero in OT, Canucks beat Flames 3-2

Vancouver climbs above .500 mark with win

Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom, from Sweden, makes a save against Calgary Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau during second period NHL action in Calgary, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

CALGARY — Alex Edler scored 3:06 into overtime to give the Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night

In a back-and-forth overtime, Edler one-timed a pass from Brock Boeser that just dribbled through the pads of David Rittich.

Boeser and Elias Pettersson also scored for Vancouver (19-18-4).

The Canucks, 5-0-1 in their last six on the road, have four points through the first two stops of their six-game road trip while the world junior hockey championship takes place in Vancouver

Mark Jankowski and Travis Hamonic scored shorthanded goals for Calgary (23-12-4). The Flames remain in first place in the Pacific Division, one point up on San Jose. The Sharks visit the Saddledome on New Year’s Eve.

Vancouver tied the game 2-2 at 11:37 of the second when Pettersson broke down the right side and whipped a 40-foot wrist shot past Rittich.

The Flames took their first lead of the night 8:46 into the second when Hamonic, on a two-on-one, chose to hang onto the puck and fired his third goal of the season past Jacob Markstrom.

It was Calgary’s league-leading 12th shorthanded goal, moving them one ahead of the Arizona Coyotes.

The Flames tied the game 1-1 at 14:30 of the first. Noah Hanifin broke in alone and while he was stopped by Markstrom, Jankowski shovelled in the rebound.

Jankowski, who also assisted on Hamonic’s goal, is tied with Arizona’s Michael Grabner for the league lead in both shorthanded goals (four) and points (six).

Vancouver opened the scoring on the power play at 5:08. With Johnny Gaudreau off for slashing, Boeser sent a 25-foot wrist shot past Rittich, who was screened by Bo Horvat and didn’t appear to see it.

RELATED: Canucks score on 4 of first 6 shots, beat Oilers 4-2

The Canucks’ improved penalty killing played a key role in the victory, going five-for-five, including a 54-second two-man advantage. Vancouver had gone nine straight games without surrendering a power-play goal before allowing two in Thursday’s win over the Edmonton Oilers.

The Flames power play, which has cooled off lately, is just 1-for-18 in the last five games.

With a 31-save performance, Markstrom improved to 8-1-0 in his last nine starts. He’s 16-10-3 on the season.

Rittich, starting over veteran Mike Smith for the sixth time in the last seven games, made 24 stops. He is 12-4-3.

NOTES: LW Sven Baertschi (concussion, 30 games) and D Troy Stecher (concussion, 3 games) returned for the Canucks … Rookie LW Dillon Dube, recalled earlier in the day from Stockton (AHL), dressed for the Flames, taking the spot of veteran LW Michael Frolik, who was a healthy scratch … Calgary’s Mark Giordano played career game No. 792, moving ahead of Theoren Fleury and into sole possession of fourth in franchise history.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

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Vancouver Canucks’ Erik Gudbranson, left, battles for the puck with Calgary Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau during first period NHL action in Calgary, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

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