Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - After suffering a crushing loss late in regulation in Game 1, Eddie Lack and Vancouver came out looking like an entirely different team to even the series.
Lack made 22 saves and the Canucks bounced back with a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames Friday to pull even in this Western Conference quarterfinal.
Daniel Sedin, Chris Higgins, Ronalds Kenins and Radim Vrbata all scored for the hosts, who ended a string of six postseason losses with their first win since April 18, 2012 in Game 3 of an eventual five-game first-round loss to Los Angeles.
"We got two quick goals and that was big for us," said Kennis. "The guys did a great job and stepped up for each other."
Kris Russell, who provided the deciding tally in Game 1 with 29.6 seconds left in regulation, posted Calgary's lone marker. Jonas Hiller allowed three goals on 29 shots and Karri Ramo stopped two shots in relief late in the third period.
"Tonight the Canucks were better than us and deserved to win," Calgary head coach Bob Hartley said.
The best-of-seven matchup will shift to the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary for Game 3 on Sunday.
In the third, Bo Horvat skated up the left-wing boards in the offensive zone and sent a cross-ice pass to Kenins, who snapped a shot from the right circle to put the hosts up 3-0 at 2:17.
Lack kept the Flames off the board four minutes later with a huge leg save on Johnny Gaudreau, who tracked down a rebound, drifted across the slot and wristed a shot on net.
On the man advantage, Russell skated across the blue line to the right point and took advantage of a Jiri Hudler screen in front, firing a slap shot past Lack to make it a 3-1 game with 3:34 left in regulation.
Calgary pulled Ramo moments later and Vrbata scored on the vacated cage to seal the outcome.
With over a minute to play, the teams left their calling cards for Game 3 as post-whistle violence erupted into multiple fights which translated into game misconducts for five different players.
"I think there's always a lot of emotions in the game," Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins said. "This is just two teams playing hard."
The Canucks came out firing and it paid off just 2:56 into the contest. Daniel Sedin took a cross-ice feed off the rush from brother Henrik and beat Hiller with a wrister from the right circle.
Less than five minutes later, Higgins increased Vancouver's lead to 2-0 on the power play by wristing home a rebound in front through Hiller's pads, which broke the protective glass on the goal cam and ricocheted out of the net.
Calgary failed to get anything going offensively over the opening 20 minutes and was outshot 13-3.
"They outplayed us in the first 20 minutes," said Russell. "This time of year you can't have shifts or periods off."
The Flames showed life just over seven minutes elapsed in the second. David Schlemko skated across the blue line and fired a shot through traffic. Lack turned it aside, but chaos ensued and a scrum erupted in the crease, resulting in an angry Lack throwing punches and off-setting roughing minors.
Yannick Weber had a chance to make it a three-goal game after his left point shot rang off the post with under six minutes left in the middle stanza.
The Canucks won their first playoff game at home since taking a 3-2 series lead against the Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals on June 10, 2011. Boston went on to win the series in Game 7 ... Calgary forward Lance Bouma missed a fourth straight game with an upper-body injury ... The two teams totaled well over 100 penalty minutes.