Canucks say pressure shifting to Flames ahead of Game 6 - Sports Illustrated

Canucks say pressure shifting to Flames ahead of Game 6

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) The Vancouver Canucks are brimming with confidence after a season-saving win.

The Calgary Flames are headed home with a chance to advance to the next round.

Facing elimination on Thursday, the Canucks beat the Flames 2-1 in Game 5 to stay alive in their Western Conference playoff series. Now they are talking up the pressure on the Flames to close it out Saturday night and avoid a return trip to Rogers Arena for a winner-take-all Game 7.

''It's hard to close out a series,'' goaltender Ryan Miller said after Friday's practice. ''I've been in those situations and you do let doubt get into your mind sometimes. Our job is to keep reinforcing that and keep reminding them we are a good team and they are going to have to beat us.''

Calgary split the first two games of the series in Vancouver and then won back-to-back games at home. It is trying to advance to the second round for the first time since 2004.

The Flames had a similar scenario at the end of the regular season. Needing to win their last home game against the Los Angeles Kings or their finale in Winnipeg to make the playoffs for the first time in six years, the Flames took advantage of the first option.

''We had to win one out of two and we took care of business,'' coach Bob Hartley said. ''We took care of the defending Stanley Cup champions right in our barn in front of our fans and we did it.

''Tomorrow, it's exactly the same challenge and we believe in ourselves. I like our players' demeanor.''

Canucks captain Henrik Sedin has been on both sides of 3-1 series leads and said the longer it takes to get that fourth win, the more it can wear a team down.

''There's a lot of pressure on them going back home. Being up 3-1 you have a chance to win it,'' said Sedin, who picked up an assist on his brother Daniel's winning goal in Game 5. ''I felt they looked a little tired at the end of the game. We have to bring the same energy. For them to go home and face their crowd, there's a lot of pressure there.''

Miller had 20 saves Thursday night in his first start of the series after replacing Eddie Lack in Game 4.

The Flames were unable to get much traffic in front of Miller, while Calgary goalie Jonas Hiller had 41 saves.

It was the sixth time that the Flames, who led the NHL in blocked shots, allowed over 40 shots this season.

''He plays a little more active game, a little more reactive in the net, whereas Eddie is a little calmer, but I don't think we challenged him enough last night by driving the net and getting in front of him,'' Hiller said. ''They blocked a lot of shots that didn't make it to the net.

''If you want to score in this league, it's not always going to be pretty. You have to work for it, put pucks on net and drive the net and I think we were a little too cute last night.''