The Vancouver Canucks will face the Calgary Flames in the first round of the NHL playoffs. The Canucks have home ice advantage for the best-of-seven series.
2014-15 season series
The Pacific Division rivals met four times. Every game was a one goal affair with the exception of the season opener where Henrik Sedin had an empty net goal in a 4-2 Canucks win at Calgary. It was the first NHL win for Coach Willie Desjardins.
Chris Tanev was the hero in game two in Vancouver on December 20, as the defenseman’s winning goal 18 seconds into overtime was the difference in a 3-2 Canucks victory.
The two clubs were back in BC on January 10, as minor league call up Joni Ortio stopped 36 shots and Mikael Backlund scored the lone goal for the visitors, as Calgary snapped a nine-game losing streak versus Vancouver with a 1-0 triumph.
The season finale was an entertaining contest on Valentine’s night in southern Alberta. Ex-Vancouver Giant Lance Bouma broke a 2-2 tie early in the third period as the Flames triumphed 3-2.
Last time in playoffs
The Canucks are back in the post-season after missing in 2014. Vancouver was swept in its last playoff appearance in four games by the San Jose Sharks in 2013.
The Flames are in the final 16 for the first time since Iron Mike Keenan led Calgary to the playoffs in 2009. That year the Flames were bounced in six games by Chicago in the Western Conference quarter-final.
Playoff history between the two clubs
Vancouver and Calgary have battled six times in the post-season, all in the opening round. The Flames took four of the match ups. Each team reached the Stanley Cup final after opening round victories over their rival on four occasions.
The most recent was in 2004, when ex-Canuck Martin Gelinas scored the series clinching goal in game seven at the “Garage” in overtime for a 3-2 Calgary victory. The Flames went on to lose in the Cup final in seven games to the Lightning.
Ten years prior, the Canucks won the final three games in overtime, as Pavel Bure scored the series winning-goal in the third overtime period of game seven for a 4-3 Vancouver triumph. The Canucks eventually lost the Stanley Cup final to the Rangers in seven games.
In 1989, Calgary narrowly escaped the Smythe division semi-final with a 4-3, overtime triumph in game seven. Joel Otto scored the game winner. This was before video replay, as the puck appeared to hit Otto’s skate while he was in the Vancouver crease. The Flames then knocked off LA, Chicago and Montreal to win their only Stanley Cup.
Calgary eliminated the Canucks in the opening round of the 1983 and 1984 playoffs in four games each, as the Smyth Division semi-final was a best-of-five series.
The Canucks started their first significant playoff run in 1982 with a three-game sweep of the Flames, before eventually losing out to the Islanders in the championship final.
Stanley Cup Final History
Both franchises have been to the Stanley Cup final series three times. The Flames won the Cup once, in 1989, when they defeated the Montréal Canadiens in six games. Three years prior, the Habs took the title over Calgary in five games. In 2004, head Coach John Tortorella led the Tampa Bay Lightning to a seven-game Stanley Cup championship over Calgary.
Vancouver last made the championship series in 2011, where they fell to the Bruins in seven games. The Canucks lost game seven of the Stanley Cup final in 1994 to the Rangers in New York City. The New York Islanders swept Vancouver in four games in the 1982 final.