Flames complete epic rally to beat visiting Blue Jackets in overtimeby TY PILSON @typilson / calgaryflames.com
Better late than never.
That rang truer than ever Wednesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Flames dug out of a 2-0 hole with two third-period goals - the tying tally coming at 18:17 - before TJ Brodie scored with just 10.4 seconds left in OT to give the Flames a massive 3-2 victory to start off a five-game homestand.
It was Calgary's 10th third-period comeback of the season.
Video: Brendan Parker wraps up the victory
It didn't come easy.
The first period did not play out to script for the homeside.
Quite the opposite.
The Flames were aiming for a quick start, focused on avoiding some of the pratfalls that have plagued them this season at home.
They came out with purpose but fell behind 2-0 quickly.
After that, they were stymied for much of the tilt by a Columbus team that packed it in and blocked shots and passes all night, clogging up the lanes and making things tough with a text-book road game.
Blue Jackets defenceman Andrew Peeke fired a long cross-ice stretch pass to Devin Shore in the first, the forward taking a handful of strides before firing a wrist shot from the right face-off dot that found it's way through Cam Talbot at 8:56.
Talbot was starting his second straight game after blanking the Florida Panthers 3-0 Sunday to wrap up the team's five-game Stateside road trip.
Just under three minutes later, Mikael Backlund's pass went off a stick and led to a two-on-nothing for Columbus captain Nick Foligno and Gustav Nyquist, the skipper holding the puck and freezing Talbot before making a quick pass cross crease for the tap-in on the other side.
There was a scary moment in the period when Matthew Tkachuk blocked a Zach Werenski slapshot near the right corner, taking it in the leg and staying on the ice for quite some time before limping to the bench and going down the tunnel.
Thankfully, he did return to the game.
More on that below.
To compound matters, the Flames ended the frame on the PK with Sean Monahan off for a high stick, giving Columbus 1:34 of man-up time to start the second stanza.
Before the penalty expired, Tobias Rieder had a great chance to tie it up, sprung on a breakway and using his incredible speed to stay ahead of the chasing Jackets defenders.
He tried to beat Joonas Korpisalo over the left shoulder but fired the puck high and wide.
The Flames got their first chance on the powerplay with just under five minutes to go in the second, Boone Jenner sent off for high-sticking Rasmus Andersson as the two raced for a losse puck in the Flames zone.
They generated some chances, but nothin' doin' in the goal department.
Video: Flames rally to defeat Blue Jackets in overtime
In the dying minutes of the frame, Johnny Gaudreau fired a shot on Korpisalo who made the stop, but ended up out of position, Elias Lindholm grabbing the rebound but putting it up and over the net.
In all, the Flames outshot the visitors 13-6 in the period.
Lindholm finally broke through at the 11:14 mark of the third period, thanks to some hard work from Andrew Mangiapane.
Video: CBJ@CGY: Lindholm goes five-hole on Korpisalo
As is usually the case this season, Mangiapane battled hard for the puck and then made the pass out from behind the net to the streaking Lindholm as he glided into the slot, snapping it home for his 29th tally of the year.
Then came a marker from a guy used to late-game heroics - Tkachuk tipping the puck home from a shot by captain Mark Giordano.
Video: CBJ@CGY: Tkachuk deflects in tying goal
In OT, as always, it was a back-and-forth affair with Korpisalo making some big stops.
With time ticking down, Monahan feed the puck out to Brodie who made no mistake from the slot with his shot.
Video: CBJ@CGY: Brodie wins it in overtime for Flames
THEY SAID IT:
Brodie on his game-winner:
"Just trying to get it on net and hope for the best."
On the victory:
"You know, it's big. Getting the first game at home, coming back like that. You know, anytime you can get some confidence with a win like that, you try and carry it over to the next game and hope it snowballs."
Video: "It's big ... getting the first game at home"
Gio on the game:
"I thought the first period, they were the better team. I think they outchanced us, Wardo said, 6-1 or 6-2. I think we were a little bit guilty of after the first one of trying to make plays at bluelines against a really solid defensive team who plays structurally, plays really well. The last 40 minutes we were definitely the team that generated more chances and finally got rewarded at the end of the game for it, so that's a huge two points for us, huge to get this homestand rolling on a positive note."
Video: "That's a huge two points for us"
On battling through:
"We had to keep pluggin' away. If you start opening up against that team - I think everybody is sort of forgetting that they're in a good spot over there in the east, in a really good conference, in a playoff spot and they are there for a reason. They play well defensively, they, structurally, are sound. I know they have a lot of injuries but they still play the same way with guys coming in. They gave us a hard-fought game, obviously."
Lindholm on timely win:
"I think it was huge. Overall it wasn't a very good game from our side but we stuck with it and got some goals there at the end and got the OT win ... so right now, all that matters is two points and we got them."
Video: "All that matters is two points"
Interim coach Geoff Ward on getting job done:
"I thought we recovered well. I really liked our second, I liked our third, and I liked our overtime. I mean, this is what it's going to be like in theplayoffs. And down the stretch into the playoffs. Hockey is going to be like this the rest of the way. So, important for us we had resolve."
Video: "It was important we had resolve as a team"
Derek Ryan skated in his 300th career NHL game tonight. Ryan has played 147 games for the Flames and 153 for the Carolina Hurricanes in his career. Ryan had 51 goals and 136 points coming into tonight ... Speaking of 300 games, Talbot is now juswt one away from hitting that mark ... This was the second and final matchup this season between the Flames and Jackets. The Flames won the first meeting between these two teams 3-0 on Nov. 2 ... The Flames have a record of 16-9-2 against Eastern Conference opponents, and are 6-5-1 against the Metropolitan Division.
The D-pairings and trios to start last night's tilt:
Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Elias Lindholm
Andrew Mangiapane - Mikael Backlund - Matthew Tkachuk
Milan Lucic - Derek Ryan - Dillon Dube
Sam Bennett - Mark Jankowski - Tobias Rieder
Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie
Noah Hanifin - Rasmus Andersson
Derek Forbort - Erik Gustafsson
The Flames continue this five-game homestand when they host the Coyotes on Friday night at 7 p.m. (click here for tickets), followed by a Sunday tilt with the Golden Knights, puck drop at 5 p.m. (click here for tickets).