Down one going into the third there, we found a way. It wasn’t the prettiest of wins but sometimes you’ve got to win like that if you want to be a good team. - Josh Jooris
WASHINGTON, DC -- The Calgary Flames are building a reputation as road warriors. The Washington Capitals found that out Tuesday. That’s not all they’re building, though.
“I think we said that if we want to be a playoff team we need to win these types of games, these one-goal games,” Flames forward Josh Jooris said. “Down one going into the third there, we found a way. It wasn’t the prettiest of wins but sometimes you’ve got to win like that if you want to be a good team.”
A fortunate bounce gave Markus Granlund his second goal in as many games late in the third and Sean Monahan’s fourth of the season with 43 seconds remaining in overtime powered the Flames over Washington at the Verizon Center.
It also gave Calgary its second straight win to start a five-game road trip that will also see stops against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes before returning to Scotiabank Saddledome.
They might not want to come home.
The Flames are 6-2-0 to start the season away from Calgary, helping them to second place in the Pacific Division.
“It’s nice to get on the road early,” Jooris said. “We had that road swing there. I think it’s time to come together as a team a bit. We’re with each other a lot so we learn a lot about each other. This is kind of where the team finds its identity a bit. We need to keep winning these road games.”
It starts with leadership, coach Bob Hartley admitted.
“It starts with our leadership group,” he said. “We have so many great veterans, so many great guys that it doesn’t matter what the score is they’ll always stay in the game. That’s where we always find a way to stay in the game, stay competitive. We’re right in there and keep plugging.”
It’s the formula Monahan has subscribed to.
“We’re on the road here and you’ve got to find a way to win,” Monahan said. “Right now we’re trying to get as many wins as we can to start the season. I think we’re rolling right now. We’ve got good leadership to bring us there.”
“I think we have a good dressing room and I think it’s a big part of it. We have a big group of guys and we all get along. We work hard on the ice and we trust in each other and obviously [Jonas Hiller] and [Karri Ramo] have been doing a great job for us.”
It was Hiller’s turn in Washington.
The goaltender made a sliding game-saver off Capitals forward Tom Wilson with just one second remaining in regulation to force overtime.
It saved the game and two points for the Flames. It allowed them to continue to be warriors on the road, too.
“We never quit. Tonight was far from the perfect game. It was probably one of the weirdest games I’ve seen,” Hartley said. “Looking at a few of their goals and looking at our winning goal. That’s the beauty of our sport. It can go. Our guys never quit. In the third period, I felt that was our best period. The first and second, I don’t know. We were not skating our game. That’s not the team that I know and we turned way too many pucks.
“We found a way and that’s the most important thing. We stuck with it. It’s a huge two points for us.”