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Flames handle Canucks to take 3-1 series lead

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Jiri Hudler had a goal and an assist and the Calgary Flames earned a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau scored his first playoff goal and 18-year-old rookie Sam Bennett had his second in as many games.

Dennis Wideman had a pair of assists for the Flames, who split the first two games of the series in Vancouver before back-to-back wins at home.

Goaltender Jonas Hiller made 28 saves for the win.

Captain Henrik Sedin scored for the Canucks. Starter Eddie Lack was pulled after giving up three goals on seven shots in the first period. Ryan Miller turned away the 15 he faced in relief.

Calgary leads the Western Conference series 3-1.

The Flames head to Vancouver with the chance to win the series in Thursday’s Game 5 and move past the first round for the first time since 2004. Calgary reached the Stanley Cup final that year and lost in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

A Game 6, if necessary, will be Saturday in Calgary and a Game 7 would be Monday back in Vancouver.

The Canucks were without significant playoff experience in Game 4 with the absence of forwards Brad Richardson and Alex Burrows. Linden Vey and Brandon McMillan had their first playoff action of the series.

There wasn’t an obvious reason for Richardson’s absence, but Burrows was injured during Vancouver’s morning skate. He staggered off the ice in obvious pain, was put on a stretcher and taken to hospital in an ambulance.

The Canucks said Burrows sustained an upper-body injury and had been taken to hospital for “precautionary reasons.”

The visitors outshot Calgary 11-7, but trailed 3-1 after the opening period. Vancouver mustered just three shots in a scoreless second period to Calgary’s six.

Bennett crashed the net and deflected T.J. Brodie’s sharp-angled shot by Lack at 19:18 of the first period. It was the lone even-strength goal of the period with the first three scores being on the power play.

Calgary scored two against a Canucks penalty kill that ranked second in the league in the regular season.

Kris Russell set up Wideman, whose one-timer deflected off Hudler to make it 2-1 at 9:20. Vancouver had tied it at 8:12 when Sedin’s wrist shot deflected between Hiller’s pads.

Gaudreau finished a tic-tac-toe play at 3:23 for his first career playoff goal. From behind Vancouver’s net, Hudler passed the puck out to Sean Monahan who passed across to Gaudreau who finished with a wrist shot.

Notes: Vancouver called up former Flames draft pick Sven Baertschi from the AHL on Tuesday, but he didn’t play. … Hudler was selected as one of three finalists for this year’s Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship and a high standard of play. Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings are the other finalists. … Their AHL season over, the Flames called up 15 players from the Adirondack Flames, including recently signed forward Garnet Hathaway.

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