MCGRATTAN ‘ERNS’ HIS FIRST
After tracking down a dump in, stealing the clearing attempt and firing a centering feed from his knees into the slot, Brian McGrattan worked his way back out in front of the net.
It was there he took a pass from Lance Bouma and slid his first of the season under Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Justin Peters.
“I’ve missed a couple of pretty good chances over the last week here,” McGrattan said. “It’s kind of nice to get the monkey off the back and at home, too.”
Overall, the Calgary Flames' fourth line of McGrattan, Bouma and Paul Byron combined for four points on the Flames' two goals against the Hurricanes.
“I thought our line played really good tonight,” McGrattan said. “Bouma and Byron really played physical tonight. That’s how we’re going to get a lot of our goals and a lot of our chances is playing like that.”
FLAMES REGROUP AFTER LEAD LOSS
If there were two messages from president of hockey operations Brian Burke to the Flames on Thursday, it was that the club need to play a more truculent, hostile game and needed to nail down third period leads.
Burke saw half of that against Carolina.
The Flames couldn’t make a 1-0 lead stand after Jeff Skinner tied the game in the third, but Calgary didn’t fold and Chris Butler’s seeing-eye wrister with 3.6 seconds remaining in overtime stood as the winner.
“The mentality on the bench was very different tonight after we gave up that goal than it’s been in the past,” Butler said post-game. “We’ve been a little bit fragile but I thought guys did a good job of stepping up right after we gave up that goal and really focusing on their next shift. We didn’t panic, we didn’t go into a shell and I think that’s a positive step forward for us.”
Skinner's goal was the only blemish in the game for Calgary's defence.
“Obviously you’re going to get scored on in games,” McGrattan said. “It doesn’t really matter when but I thought we maintained our play really well and went out and got the win in overtime.
“A win’s a win.”
Calgary’s overtime thriller came on fan appreciation night, where players handed over their game-used stick as a sign of gratitude.
But McGrattan held onto the one that put the puck in the back of the net.
“No, no. I kept that one,” McGrattan said. “I’ve got to stay hot.”
“Not a chance I’m giving that one away,” he said with a grin. “I only get so many so I’ve got to keep that one.”
GLENCROSS KNOCKS OFF RUST
Returning after a five week absence, Curtis Glencross admitted there was a little rust in his game Thursday.
“A little rusty, but it's all in timing,” he said. “I felt alright conditioning-wise. Its just timing, a couple few bounces out there that I couldn't settle down.
“You can practice all you want, full practices and stuff like that, but it's not like playing in a game. It's quicker, it's physical, all that kind of stuff. I had to get back in there and give it a go, and it'll just get better.”
Glencross played 17:49 in his return and recorded one shot.
“That's the kind of game I like to play. I might not have been quite as gritty as I want to be [Thursday], just getting the timing and everything back and that kind of thing. But it was a game where I got to grind in the corners a bit and test things out, so it was a decent game coming back and we got the win.”
The Flames get set for an early clash against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday (12 p.m. MT, SNET-W).