SPORTS

NHL: 3 Stories from Thursday night

10/24/2014 01:52 EDT | Updated 12/23/2014 05:59 EST
Thursday night’s hockey line-up included a homecoming, of sorts, for Ryan Miller in St. Louis, now wearing the colours of the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames trying to climb above .500 in the midst of a long home stretch. In Nashville, there was a battle of the unbeatens.

Miller's return is triumphant

Ryan Miller is the Vancouver Canucks top goaltender but it’s hard to think of him as anything other than the guy who toiled so long and hard for the Buffalo Sabres. Except that last year Miller finished up with the St. Louis Blues, brandishing a 10-8-1 record in the regular season and then a first-round playoff exit as the Blues fell to the Blackhawks in six games.

Thursday night in his return to St. Louis, Miller made a key save that turned the tide in a tie game. His save off Jori Lehtera sent the Canucks off on a rush that resulted in a Nick Bonino goal. From there the Canucks went on to a 4-1 victory that halted a two-game losing streak.

Chris Higgins scored for Vancouver just 41 seconds into the game, while Kevin Shattenkirk's power play evened things in the second period.

After Bonino's go-ahead score, Linden Vey and Jannik Hansen notched third period goals to ice the win for Vancouver.

Miller stopped 31 of 32 shots for the win.

Flames blow away Hurricanes

The Flames rebounded from an overtime loss to Tampa Bay by completely shutting down the visiting Carolina Hurricanes, 5-0.

Dennis Wideman opened the scoring, something he's done four times already this season and Sean Monahan came alive with his first two goals of the season. The sophomore who scored 22 goals in his rookie campaign just turned 20 and showed why he's such a key component of the Flames' future. 

After Matt Stajan increased the Flames lead in the second period, Monahan tallied in the second stanza as well and added a beauty in the third to give Calgary a four-goal bulge. Lance Bouma closed out the scoring with his first of the season.

Jonas Hiller turned aside 16 shots to post his 22nd career shutout. Hiller has won his last three starts.

Predators take battle of the unbeaten

The Chicago Blackhawks tangled with the Nashville Predators in Tennessee as the NHL’s only two clubs not to have lost in regulation this season. Fittingly for the home team, it was James Neal bobblehead night and the star forward, acquired in a June trade with Pittsburgh, scored a natural hat trick in the Predators 3-2 triumph.

It was the fifth career hat trick for the 27-year-old Neal who enjoyed a 40-goal season with the Penguins in 2011-12.

In addition to Nashville's fifth win of the season it was their seventh straight game with at least a point. That's their best start since 2010-11 when Nashville had points in their first eight games.

The win was also consoltation for the Predators after losing to the Blackhawks in overtime in Chicago last week.

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