Alex Tanguay's winning goal was originally waved off after Roberto Luongo stopped his backhand in the final round of the shootout. But Luongo slid into the net with the puck in his pads, and after a lengthy review the call on the ice was overturned, giving the Flames a 4-3 win on Saturday night.
"I didn't know where the puck was," Tanguay said. "They were watching the replay on the bench and said it looked like his pads were in. There are a few calls in the course of your career where you think the puck was in and it doesn't pan out so I'll certainly take this result for the team."
Replays showed Luongo's pads in the net, and the referee pulled the puck out of one after waving off the goal. But it was harder to find on video, and it often takes clear evidence that the puck is over the line to declare a goal.
"All we knew was you couldn't see the puck," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "I don't know what else to tell you."
That shouldn't matter, contended Brendan Morrison, who scored the Flames' first goal during a power play midway through the first period.
"You've got to have common sense," Morrison said. "They wave it off because by the time they get there the puck is out, but if you look at the overhead he's clearly in the net and the puck is with him. It's a no-brainer."
Tim Jackman put Calgary ahead on a rebound 6:42 into the third period, but Ryan Kesler tied it on a short-handed 2-on-2 three minutes later. He took a drop pass from Alex Burrows and fired in his 26th goal through Burrow's screen.
Curtis Glencross scored 20 seconds after Morrison, and Miikka Kiprusoff made 41 saves for the Flames, who were coming off a 7-4 win over Dallas on Friday. Calgary has points in seven of eight games (4-1-3). Despite being 14th in the 15-team Western Conference, the Flames are only five points behind San Jose for eighth place and the postseason cutoff.
"There's too many teams involved for that last playoff spot," Tanguay said. "So we said from December 23 it's going to take four points out of every six. That's been our mindset, and we've been pretty successful since."
Alexander Edler scored twice, and Luongo made 30 saves for the Canucks, who don't have to worry about fighting for a playoff spot. They remain atop the West and are tied with Philadelphia with an NHL-best 67 points despite being 1-2-3 since having a 17-game point streak (14-0-3) snapped.
"We're fine," said Luongo, who hasn't lost in regulation in 15 games (10-0-5). "When you go through a stretch of games like we did the last couple months there's always bound to be a little correction."
Edler opened the scoring off the rush 3:32 in on the Canucks' first shot, but the Flames responded with two quick goals. First it was Morrison, who played parts of eight seasons in Vancouver, lifting a rebound over a sprawled Luongo. On the next shift, Matt Stajan won a battle behind the net and centered the puck to Glencross for a quick backhanded shot that beat Luongo on the glove side.
"I'm not going to lie, any time you play against an old team or a team you spent a lot of time with you want to play well," said Morrison, who also saved a goal by sweeping a loose puck off the goal line late in the first.
Calgary forward Tom Kostopoulos returned after serving a six-game suspension for a Jan. 7 hit that broke the jaw of Detroit defenseman Brad Stuart. He knocked Vancouver defender Kevin Bieksa out of this game during a first-period fight.
Kostopoulos dropped Bieksa to his knees with an early punch. Though Kostopoulos popped back up and served his penalties, including an extra two minutes for cross-checking, Bieksa went to the dressing room and didn't return.
"Kevin took a punch in the eye, and his eye was shut down so we'll see how he is [Sunday]," Vigneault said.
Bieksa leads the Canucks at plus-20 and was third in defenseman scoring with 17 points despite playing on a shutdown pairing. ... Vancouver was already missing D Aaron Rome (knee) and Andrew Alberts (shoulder) for two to three weeks, and rookie Chris Tanev played his third NHL game. ... Morrison, who signed with Calgary after being released from a training-camp tryout by his hometown Canucks, scored for a second straight game after going 16 without a goal. ... Jackman has scored three of his seven goals this season against Vancouver.