NEWS
10/06/2016 20:29 EDT | Updated 10/07/2017 01:12 EDT

Loui Eriksson scores twice as Canucks down Flames in pre-season action

VANCOUVER — Loui Eriksson scored his first two goals for Vancouver and Ryan Miller made 35 saves for the shut out Thursday as the Canucks picked up a 4-0 pre-season victory over the Calgary Flames.

Jake Virtanen and Brandon Sutter also scored for the Canucks, who dressed as close to an NHL lineup as they have during the exhibition schedule.

Eriksson — who joined Vancouver from the Boston Bruins this summer after signing a six-year, US$36-million deal — along with Henrik and Daniel Sedin, saw their first action of the pre-season after the trio played on the same line for Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey.

Chad Johnson stopped 22 shots for the undermanned Flames, who left a number of veterans at home, including Mark Giordano, Troy Brouwer, Michael Frolik and Sam Bennett.

Leading 2-0 after the first period, Vancouver stretched its lead to three moments after a Calgary penalty expired and following a good stretch of control in the Flames zone from the No. 1 power-play unit that included Sutter, Eriksson, the Sedins and Philip Larsen.

Daniel Sedin took a pass from Larsen on the side boards and ripped a shot that Eriksson tipped past Johnson at 11:43.

The Canucks were a disastrous 27th with the man advantage in 2015-16, and although it was only pre-season, there were encouraging signs Thursday with quicker passes and more movement.

Eriksson added his second of the night with 6:32 to go in the third when Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman tried to bat a puck down only to see it bounce in front to the Swede, who swatted it past a helpless Johnson.

Coming off his debut season with the Canucks that saw him play just 20 games because of injury, Sutter opened the scoring at 12:50 of the first period, roofing a shot past Johnson on a short-handed 2-on-1 rush.

Calgary had a good chance at the other end, but Miller stopped Micheal Ferland on the doorstep with under four minutes to play before Virtanen doubled Vancouver's advantage with 2:20 left when he buried a feed from Michael Granlund after some great work by Sven Baertschi behind the Calgary net.

Virtanen is in a battle with a couple of veteran forwards for an NHL job with the season just around the corner, mainly because the 20-year-old doesn't require waivers to be sent down to the club's AHL affiliate.

Notes: Calgary forward Sean Monahan made his pre-season debut after recovering from a back strain that kept him out of the World Cup. ... The Flames were playing their final game of the pre-season, while the Canucks visit the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday to wrap up their exhibition schedule.

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