After outlasting the Canucks 6-5 in a shootout last Friday and giving up five goals in each of their previous three games, the normally defensive Flames shut things down on Monday night, surrendering just 17 shots in 2-1 victory over Vancouver.
Robyn Regehr scored the winning goal on a power play midway through the third period as Calgary swept a two-game series in Vancouver.
"We knew we had to get a lot better defensively," Regehr said. "We can't continue to win games 6-5. We have to take pride in being responsible in our own zone and in the neutral zone."
With Todd Bertuzzi in the penalty box for holding the stick of rookie Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf during a physical battle in the corner, Regehr hit a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle 8:34 into the final period.
The goal came less than two minutes after Anson Carter tied the game on one of only three shots the Flames allowed in the third period.
"It was good to see we tightened things up a little bit," Regehr said. "As a team we were playing better all over the ice and you can see that from the score."
Kristian Huselius, who set up Regehr's goal, also scored on the power play, and defenseman Jordan Leopold had two assists as the Flames moved into a first-place tie with Edmonton atop the Northwest Division, one point ahead of Vancouver.
"I d rather take two points this way," Miikka Kiprusoff said after facing 17 shots -- 20 fewer than he saw Friday. "It was more like how we're used to playing."
Alex Auld stopped 21 shots for the Canucks, who have dropped five straight games at home at after starting the season 13-1. It was also the fourth straight loss to the Flames this season for the Canucks, who have lost all eight games against Alberta-based rivals Calgary and Edmonton.
"Our division is a tough division and we've got to find a way to be better in it," said Canucks coach Marc Crawford, whose team slid to seventh place in the Western Conference. "I don't think anybody can look at our effort and say we're upset, but I don't think we can be fooled by it either. We've got to find ways to win these divisional games, they're very important in the standings."
After playing a wild game Friday night - they combined for 74 shots and 10 goals in regulation and overtime before Calgary won the shootout - both teams appeared to find their defensive sides over the two-day holiday break.
"Both teams were a little more cautious 5-on-5 and I thought Kipper made three or four big saves in the first period to keep it that way," Calgary coach Darryl Sutter said.
Huselius opened the scoring on a power play 4:15 in, beating Auld with a far-side wrist shot after a two Canucks went to Daymond Langkow at the Vancouver blue line, allowing him to send Huselius in on a partial break down the right wing.
For a while it looked like that's all Kiprusoff would need. He robbed Bertuzzi and Ryan Kesler on breakaways and had Markus Naslund's power play shot glance off his mask before hitting the cross bar midway through the second period.
Kiprusoff got another break when Bryan Allen ripped a slap shot off the near post 41 seconds into the third period, but lost his bid for a league-best sixth shutout when Carter converted a backdoor pass through the crease at 5:58.
"Their great power-play chances went in and ours didn't and that basically was the difference in the game," Crawford said.
- Calgary D Rhett Warrener, who appeared to seriously injure his right knee throwing a big hit 36 seconds into Friday's game, was back in the starting lineup Monday.
- Flames RW Darren McCarty was a late scratch with a hip flexor injury.
- Calgary called up D Richie Regehr, younger brother of Robyn, earlier Monday but he didn't play.
- The Canucks wrap up their six-game home stand against Nashville on Wednesday before heading on the road for 14 of their next 18 games.