Canucks down Flames to force Game 6

Daniel Sedin scored early in the third period Thursday as the Vancouver Canucks avoided elimination with a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames in Game 5 of their Western Conference quarter-final. The Flames still lead the best-of-seven series 3-2, with Game 6 set for Saturday in Calgary.

VANCOUVER — Daniel Sedin scored early in the third period Thursday as the Vancouver Canucks avoided elimination with a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames in Game 5 of their Western Conference quarter-final.

The Flames still lead the best-of-seven series 3-2, with Game 6 set for Saturday in Calgary.

Nick Bonino had the other goal for Vancouver, which got 19 saves from Ryan Miller.

David Jones replied for Calgary, while Jonas Hiller stopped 41 shots.

The Canucks snapped a 1-1 tie 1:47 into the third after the Flames iced the puck. Vancouver put out its top line for the offensive zone faceoff and made Calgary pay as Daniel Sedin shovelled home a Dan Hamhuis rebound through Hiller’s pads for his second goal of the series.

Vancouver had to kill off a Calgary power play midway through the period when Hamhuis was whistled for firing the puck over the glass, including a big stop from Miller on Joe Colborne from the slot.

The Flames had another man advantage with under six minutes to go when Henrik Sedin went off for hooking, but didn’t get a single shot on target against Miller, who was making his first start of the series after replacing Eddie Lack in Game 4.

Calgary has made a living off third-period comebacks this season, but were unable to find an equalizer as Vancouver stayed alive in front of a raucous towel-waving crowd at Rogers Arena.

Down 1-0 after the first period, Vancouver tied the game with 6:29 left in the second after a good cycle down low when Bonino took a pass from Radim Vrbata and ripped a shot under the crossbar from the faceoff dot for his first of the playoffs.

With the Canucks then pressing to grab the lead at the other end, Miller was forced into a good save on TJ Brodie to keep things even as Vancouver held a 34-16 shot edge through 40 minutes.

Calgary could have taken a 2-0 lead earlier in the period, but Colborne hit the post a minute in before Mason Raymond saw the puck roll off his stick on a clear breakaway.

The Flames went up 1-0 just 2:40 into the first period when Jones jumped on a turnover by Alexander Edler and fired shortside on Miller for his second goal of the series.

Calgary’s Dennis Wideman had an opportunity to add to the lead on the power play moments later only to see his shot hit the post behind Miller and stay out.

Vancouver had some great chances to equalize later in the period, but Jannik Hansen’s one-timer from the point clanked off iron before Vrbata’s effort on a man advantage also hit the post.

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