Elias Pettersson and Cole McWard - with his first NHL point - scored for the Canucks, who won after giving up a 2-0 lead in the third period. Thatcher Demko made 41 saves.
“When Calgary put some pushes on us, I just saw some backups,” Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said. “We got to get that out of here. You got to lock it down, you can’t just rely on (Demko). He played great tonight. ... Good teams lock it down and we got to get that mentality around here.”
Elias Lindholm and Nazem Kadri scored in the third period for the Flames to force extra time. Jacob Markstrom stopped 31 shots.
Calgary outshot Vancouver 30-16 over the second and third periods.
“Tough first period, and last two periods we were dominating,” Lindholm said. “Had a lot of chances to score some more goals and I think we could have put this game away earlier than what happened out there and the shootout, and they won. ... Tough loss, we just got to regroup and focus on Monday.”
Calgary pulled one point behind Winnipeg for the second wild card in the Western Conference. The Flames have two games left on their regular-season schedule while the Jets have three.
In the tiebreaker, Kuzmenko skated wide of the Flames' net, then fired a shot up into the top corner to secure the win.
McWard, who made his NHL debut Thursday after signing a two-year, entry-level deal with Vancouver on Tuesday after completing his second season at Ohio State University, scored his first NHL goal 9:03 into the game.
“It's been a quick turnaround,” McWard said. “It's been an awesome experience so far. Really excited for the rest of the year and trying to continue whatever's going on. ... My parents got to watch this game so that was awesome they got to see that one. Definitely happy I got to score in front of them.”
Pettersson scored his 38th of the season on a short-handed breakaway a little more than four minutes later to put the Canucks up 2-0.
Vancouver now has 15 short-handed goals this season, including 13 since Rick Tocchet took over as head coach on Jan. 22.
“I think we came out flying in the first period. I thought we played a decent period. The shortie could have killed us, a soft play,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. “And I think we slowly took over in a lot of areas. And then we couldn’t solve Demko. We fought back. Can’t ask much more than that.”
Lindholm got the Flames on the scoreboard 38 seconds into the third with his 22nd, and Kadri beat Demko for his 24th at 6:07 to tie the score.
“We know where they are (in the standings), so we know they were going to come out hard and we wanted to match that,” Pettersson said. “And I think we did a really good job. They scored two quick on us. I think we let our foot off the gas but other than that I’m happy with our team.”
Flames: Host Nashville on Monday night to open a season-ending two-game homestand.
Canucks: At Los Angeles on Monday night to open a season-ending three-game trip.
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