Vancouver Canucks’ Alexander Edler, centre, keeps Calgary Flames’ Milan Lucic, left, away from goalie Jacob Markstrom during first period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Rittich stops 34 shots as Flames blank Canucks 3-0

Vancouver drops second straight to open NHL season

CALGARY — David Rittich posted 34-save shutout for the Calgary Flames in a 3-0 win over the visiting Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.

Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan scored for Calgary (1-1-0), while Johnny Gaudreau had an empty-net goal and two assists for his second multi-point game to open the season.

Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 of 29 shots in the loss for Vancouver (0-2-0).

Calgary improved to 8-8-3 in home-openers since the turn of the century.

The hosts outshot the Canucks 14-5 in the second period and led 2-0 heading into the third.

Vancouver couldn’t cash in a pair of third-period power plays.

The first included 61 seconds of five on three, but Rittich repelled three shots in that span and made 18 saves in the period.

Monahan collected his second goal in as many games. The Flames centre scored from the slot at 1:10 of the second on a feed from Gaudreau behind the goal-line.

A scuffle broke out near the end of the period when Canucks defenceman Tyler Myers knocked Flames captain Mark Giordano over in front of Calgary’s bench.

Myers and Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic took coincidental minors in the ensuing shoving match.

The Saddledome’s first goal of the season was scored by Lindholm at 13:50 of the first.

Myers misplayed a cross-ice pass in Calgary’s zone onto the stick of Lindholm, who whipped the puck under Markstrom’s arm.

Winger Milan Lucic, acquired in an off-season trade with Edmonton, had four penalty minutes for a two-game total of 21 as a Flame.

READ MORE: McDavid nets winner, Oilers edge Canucks 3-2 in opener

Both teams opened their respective seasons with road losses Thursday — Vancouver in Edmonton and Calgary in Denver, Colo.

The Los Angeles Kings are in Calgary on Tuesday and Vancouver on Wednesday for the Canucks’ home-opener.

The Canucks are waiting until Wednesday to announce the team’s captain.

Notes: Canucks veteran forward Loui Eriksson was a healthy scratch to make way for 23-year-old Adam Gaudette … The Flames, celebrating their 40th season in Calgary, wore retro jerseys Saturday … The Canucks have several events planned to commemorate their 50th season, including February’s retirement of the numbers worn by siblings Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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