Pettersson scores 1st goal, Canucks beat Flames 5-2
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Rookie Elias Pettersson scored on his first shot in his first NHL game, and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Calgary Flames 5-2 Wednesday night in their season opener.
Nikolay Goldobin, Brendan Leipsic, Jake Virtanen and Jason Motte also scored for Vancouver. Jacob Markstrom stopped 33 shots.
Matthew Tkachuk and Sean Monahan had goals for the Flames, and Mike Smith finished with 30 saves.
Pettersson opened the scoring with 6:12 left in the first period, picking up the puck in the neutral zone, springing into the Calgary end with teammate Derrick Pouliot on a 2-on-1. Petterson kept the puck and fired a wrist shot into the top of the net.
The goal brought chants of “Petter-sson” from the crowd.
The 19-year-old led the Swedish hockey league in scoring last season with 56 points in 44 games.
He then got an assist on Goldobin’s goal in the third period. Pettersson got the puck in front of the net and passed it off to his teammate, who tipped it in at the side to make it 2-0 at 1:52.
Nearly 30 seconds later, Leipsic sneaked a puck into the same spot to put the Canucks up 3-0.
Tkachuk then caught Markstrom too far out of the net and buried the puck to put the Flames on the scoreboard at 3:08. Defenseman Noah Hanifin got a secondary assist on the play for his first point with Calgary after being acquired from Carolina during the summer.
Virtanen responded by getting a breakaway and sliding the puck in past Smith as he fell to the ice to make it 4-1 at 5:46.
Monahan pulled the Flames within two again as he ended a battle outside the Vancouver crease with a wrist shot that slipped through Markstrom’s legs and into the net at 8:08.
Vancouver’s Motte got a pass from Markus Granlund and put a long shot into the empty net with 47 seconds to go to cap the scoring.
NOTES: Vancouver held Calgary scoreless on seven power plays. ... Canucks D Erik Gudbranson spent nine minutes in the box, including a five-minute penalty he earned after dropping the gloves with Calgary’s Travis Hamonic midway through the first period.
Calgary: Host Vancouver in the Flames’ home opener on Saturday.
Canucks: At Calgary on Saturday night to open a six-game trip.