- Associated Press - Sunday, March 24, 2019

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Mark Giordano is having the type of season that has impressed his teammates on a nightly basis.

He was at it again Saturday night, with a goal and two assists to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

“He puts it all out there every time he’s on the ice,” goalie Mike Smith said. “And he’s getting rewarded for all the hard work he puts in with points this year.”

The 35-year-old defenseman has 72 points in 73 games, and is currently riding a seven-game point streak during which he has two goals and eight assists since March 10.

“He deserves every accolade he’s getting,” Smith said. “He’s one of the biggest warriors I have ever played with.”

Garnet Hathaway and Andrew Mangiapane also scored, and Smith made 27 saves for the Flames, who snapped the Canucks’ three-game winning streak.

The Flames, the first team in the Western Conference to clinch a playoff spot, have 101 points with the victory. It’s the first time Calgary had 100 or more points since the 2005-06 season.

“It’s an unbelievable accomplishment for our team and the organization,” Smith said. “This team has come a long way from the start of the season, and the 100-point mark means you are doing a lot of good things.”

But the Flames also acknowledge that there’s still plenty of work to be done before the regular season ends.

“We’re proud, but we want to keep going, keep playing well going into playoffs, try to solidify the division and go from there,” Giordano said.

Brock Boeser had a power-play goal for the Canucks, who are six points behind Colorado for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Jacob Markstrom had 28 saves.

Calgary opened the scoring 9:44 into the first period after Derek Ryan sliced a pass to Giordano from down low. The defenseman collected the puck on his tape and fired a snap shot into the top-left corner of the net over a diving Markstrom.

With less than three minutes to go in the second period, Giordano got the puck to Hathaway in the slot. The right wing got off a back-handed shot and the puck hit Markstrom’s right pad before dribbling into the net.

Giordano helped out once again midway through the third, flipping a cross-ice pass to Mangiapane high in the slot. The left wing sent a slap shot flying past Markstrom into the Vancouver net.

“It’s each and every night,” coach Bill Peters said. “You’ve seen it all year. I’ve seen it all year. He just continues to play at a high level.”

The Canucks were able to get on the board early in the third period after Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau was called for tripping, giving Vancouver a 4-on-3 power play. Boeser capitalized on the advantage 38 seconds into the frame, firing a wrister under Smith’s glove. Boeser has four goals and six assists in his last nine games.

“It was a good hockey game,” Canucks coach Travis Green said. “A lot of intensity in the game. You could feel it. It’s a good game to learn from. A couple young guys made a couple mistakes. And you learn from those mistakes and you move on.”

NOTES: A small fracas broke out with less than two minutes to go after Canucks defenseman Alex Edler hit Smith along the end boards, sending the goalie - and his helmet - flying. Fists flew briefly before Edler was given a two-minute penalty for goaltender interference. … Calgary was without C Sam Bennett, who’s recovering from an upper-body injury. … Vancouver’s star rookie Elias Pettersson had an assist on Boeser’s goal, extending his point streak to five games. … Saturday’s win marked the Flames’ 1,700th franchise victory.


Flames: host Los Angeles on Monday night.

Canucks: host Columbus on Sunday night.


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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