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Hiller Shoots Down Canucks

On a night where the Canucks were looking to get a win for the first time since the all-star break, Jonas Hiller had other thoughts in mind.

He ended up getting the rare start for the Calgary Flames making 34 saves as his squad beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 at home.

The Canucks made a strong push in the second period as the Flames were outshot 18-9 in the period yet they still carried a 1-0 lead.

Their first goal came courtesy of Michael Frolik at the 6:25 mark of the second period as Canucks defensemen Alex Edler got caught deep and Daniel Sedin took his spot. Frolik completed a nice three-way passing with Michael Backlund and defenseman TJ Brodie by driving to the net to tap in a backdoor pass from Brodie for his ninth goal of the season and first point in six games.

“They got a little bit caught on the forecheck. I was just driving to the net and it came right to my stick,” said Frolik, who also added an assist. “It’s a big win. … We need to play every game like it’s a Game 7 for us. I think it’s going to be like that for the rest of the season. We need that mindset and believe we can do that.”

With a strong showing from Hiller in net the Flames added the insurance goal after Jiri Hudler stole the puck in the corner and fed Sean Monahan in the high slot for a one-timer past Miller’s blocker at 15:07 of the third period.

A few minutes later, with the Canucks net empty for the extra attacker, Michael Backlund made it 3-0 for the visitors.

With 94 seconds remaining Emerson Etem scored his first goal as a Canuck since coming over from New York via a trade.

“Obviously you want to get those in a win, but for me it’s been a struggle to put them in,” Etem said of his first goal this season. “I thought we could have maybe thrown it off his pads a little more, he was giving out rebounds and we weren’t really driving. We just got to save that for next game. Every point from here on out is crucial.”

To end off the game the Flames would tack on one more empty net goal when Sam Bennett scored his 14th of the season at 19:24 of the third period.

Positives for the Canucks?

It is kind of hard to think of any since losing four straight games, but this was the first game since November that the Canucks have been fully healthy.

With Dan Hamhuis playing his first game sustaining multiple facial fractures on Dec. 9, and Henrik Sedin and Brandon Sutter also returning from injuries in the previous two games, the Canucks now hope they can string along some wins.

Up next: The Canucks travel to Colorado for a date with the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday.

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