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Hoglander scores twice as Vancouver Canucks double up Calgary Flames 4-2

Conor Garland has long been impressed with his Vancouver Canucks teammate Nils Hoglander.

On Saturday the rest of the hockey world took notice, too. 

Hoglander scored twice — including a highlight-reel worthy goal — as the Canucks doubled up the Calgary Flames 4-2. 

The performance was no surprise to Garland.

“My first day here I couldn’t believe how good he was, three years ago. And I think he’s just really found his game all around the ice,” Garland said of the 23-year-old Swedish winger.

After spending time with the American Hockey League’s Abbotsford Canucks last season, Hoglander has not only cemented his spot on the NHL roster, but put up solid offensive numbers in the process, with 22 goals and 11 assists. 

“It’s hard when you’re younger and there’s not really much structure in place and you’re kind of just trying to feel the game. Now we’re a very structured team, play a hard style of hockey,” Garland continued. “And I think it’s coming along for him. So he’s gonna continue to get better though each year. He’s gonna be a good player in this league for a long, long time.”

Hoglander put away his second of the night 8:16 into the second period.

Garland deflected Connor Zary’s pass to Elias Pettersson in the neutral zone and the star centre passed off to Hoglander as they broke into Calgary territory. Hoglander pulled the puck to his backhand and flicked a shot in over Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom to give Vancouver a 2-0 lead. 

“I just tried to get Marky down on his knees and get it up high. And it worked,” Hoglander explained. 

The play caught at least one of his teammates by surprise. 

“He faked me out,” Pettersson said with a smile. “I thought he was gonna shoot and then he did what he did.”

The Canucks (45-18-8) remain at the top of the Western Conference standings, three points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars. 

Vancouver also got a third-period power-play goal from J.T. Miller and an empty-net tally from Elias Lindholm on Saturday. Pettersson and Garland each contributed a pair of assists. 

Rasmus Andersson and Joel Hanley replied for the Flames (33-31-5), who hadn’t played since suffering a 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Monday.

“After the first 10 minutes I thought we were better and better. We kind of grew into the game,” Andersson said. “We knew they were going to come in hot and we haven’t played for a few days either so maybe that was a little in the back of our head.”


Making his fifth-straight start in place of the injured Thatcher Demko, Canucks goalie Casey DeSmith stopped 22-of-24 shots and improved to 11-5-6 on the season.

“Every team in this league is good and tonight was no different. We faced a good opponent in a rivalry game and I thought we really took it to them,” DeSmith said. “I can’t say it enough, the way we finished out the game. In the third period, we didn’t give them much. It’s just a good, confidence building win and a way to hold on to a lead.” 

Markstrom had 22 saves in his first start since March 9. The Flames netminder missed five games with a lower-body injury.

Down 2-1 midway through the third period, the Flames got a chance to level the score when Miller was called for tripping.

MacKenzie Weegar blasted a shot on net from just inside the blue line, only to see DeSmith pluck the puck out of the air with his glove. 

“These are games that you want to find a way to win,” said Calgary coach Ryan Huska. “We got a late goal in the second period and you want to build on some of that momentum and we weren’t able to do that tonight.”

The Flames went 0-for-2 on the power play while the Canucks were 1-for-3.


Vancouver has killed 10 penalties in a row going back to a 4-3 overtime loss to the Avalanche on March 13. The Canucks’ penalty kill was tied for 16th in the league heading into Saturday’s game. 


Lindholm and Flames winger Andrei Kuzmenko faced their former teams for the first time. The two players swapped sides in a blockbuster trade on Jan. 31, when Vancouver picked up Lindholm in exchange for Kuzmenko, a first-round pick in the 2024 draft, a conditional fourth-round pick and two prospects. Kuzmenko received cheers from the crowd at Rogers Arena when he was welcomed back on the big screen early in the first period.


Flames: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday. 

Canucks: Continue a nine-game homestand Monday against the L.A. Kings. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2024.

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