CALGARY, Alberta — Making his first start in more than a month, Karri Ramo stepped up and gave the Calgary Flames a clutch performance. He also picked up his first win in more than two months.
Ramo stopped 28 shots, Sean Monahan scored twice and Lance Bouma got the tiebreaker early in the third period as the Flames beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 Saturday night.
"It was one of my best games in this building this year," said Ramo, who improved to 9-5-1. " It didn't feel like it had been quite a while. I didn't feel rusty."
In Ramo's last start on Jan. 7, he was injured in a collision in the second period and ended up sidelined for two weeks. Since his return, Jonas Hiller had been stellar while making eight straight starts.
"I had no doubt in my mind that he would be ready. We played him twice in the last couple of weeks coming in relief of Hills, and it was by design," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "Hills had done nothing bad, but Rams hasn't played a lot since the first of December and we needed to get him time.
"He was outstanding."
On the tiebreaking score, Bouma took a centering pass from David Jones and quickly fired a shot inside the goal post for his 10th goal of the season at 1:41 of the final period. Bouma came into the season with six goals in 121 career games.
"Every game is so important and every shift is so important," Bouma said. "Guys were sacrificing the body and doing whatever it takes. That's what it's going to take from here on in."
Monahan had two goals nearly 5 minutes apart in the second — giving him a team-leading 19 goals on the season — to put the Flames ahead 2-1.
Ronalds Kenins scored in the first period to put Vancouver ahead, and Linden Vey tied it at 2-2 late in the second. Ryan Miller finished with 31 saves.
Calgary pulled even with Vancouver in points but remains behind in the standings as the Canucks have one game in hand. The Flames hold the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
"When the game was on the line, (Ramo) made the save that they needed," said Canucks winger Jannik Hansen. "We had four or five really good scoring chances. You can't really ask for more than that. If you don't score, that's your own fault."
Monahan tied the score 1-1 at 6:48 of the second period. Johnny Gaudreau was stopped on a breakaway but as the puck froze near the goal line, Monahan raced in and poked it over while being pushed into the net. Video review confirmed the puck crossed the line before the net came off its flexible peg.
Monahan put the Flames with 8:18 to go in the period when he neatly finished off a give-and-go with Jiri Hudler.
"In the first, I had quite a few chances and when you're getting chances like that, you're kinda feeling it and want the puck on your stick," Monahan said.
However, the Canucks tied it with 2:17 left in the second on a 2-on-1 rush. Ramo made a pad stop off Chris Higgins from off the wing but the rebound was fired in by Vey with Ramo caught out of the net.
Canucks defenseman Alex Edler left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return.
NOTES: Calgary's healthy scratches were Brandon Bollig and David Wolf. ... Vancouver went with the same lineup that defeated Boston on Friday. As a result, LW Logan McMillan, claimed off waivers from Arizona on Thursday, has yet to make his Canucks debut. ... The Flames improved to 18-5-1 against the Pacific Division.