Coach Bob Hartley has preached a 60-minute effort to his Calgary Flames early in the season.
But it was 42 seconds to victory for his team against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Locked 2-2 in the final frame, Hudler’s slap shot coming down the wing beat Columbus starter Sergei Bobrovsky over the glove to give Calgary a one-goal cushion at 12:10.
The Blue Jackets didn’t fold, though. David Savard missed the net on his initial shot, but Artem Anisimov pulled the rebound off the end boards and tucked it behind Flames starter Joey MacDonald at 15:47 to cut the lead to 4-3.
But unlike Thursday night against the Washington Capitals, the Flames were able to hold onto their lead to earn their first victory of the season.
The Flames started the game much like they did a night ago in Washington and, after recording an assist in his first National Hockey League game, it didn’t take Sean Monahan long to add another souvenir to his mantle.
Just 2:27 into the game, Monahan drove to the net and banged a Lee Stempniak rebound behind Bobrovsky for his first career NHL goal to put the Flames up 1-0 over the Blue Jackets.
The lead wouldn’t last long, though.
With Shane O’Brien in the penalty box for interference, Marian Gaborik found a seam and fed a cross-ice pass that Jack Johnson one-timed behind MacDonald at 5:57 to tie the game 1-1.
With his first as a member of the Flames, TJ Galiardi restored the Flames one-goal lead. At the Calgary blueline, Galiardi picked off a Ryan Murray pass and went in alone on the Columbus net. Galiardi deked forehand-to-backhand and lifted the puck over a sprawled Bobrovsky for a 2-1 lead.
Columbus responded again before the period let out.
After stopping Blake Comeau’s initial shot, MacDonald kicked the rebound onto the stick of Brandon Dubinsky, who found Gaborik at the side of the net for a tap-in at 15:20.
Neither team could generate much in the way of offence in the second period, combining for just 13 shots after registering 25 on net in the first 20 minutes.
GOAL OF THE GAME
After picking off a pass at his own blueline, Galiardi went in alone on Bobrovsky, faking the Columbus keeper before lifting a backhand into the top of the net at 5:57 for a temporary 2-1 Flames lead. It was the Calgary native’s first as a member of the Flames.
SAVE OF THE GAME
Taking a pass from Cam Atkinson at the Flames' blueline, Nick Foligno snapped a shot on MacDonald that the Flames goaltender managed to snag out of the air with just under six minutes remaining in the first period.
Forty-two seconds made the difference for the Flames, started by Hudler’s blast over the glove of Bobrovsky. Glencross’ insurance marker held up as the winner in the 4-3 victory.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“Confidence goes a long way.”
STAT OF THE GAME
Dennis Wideman was a minute-muncher on defence for Calgary, playing 29:08 in the game. The next closest Flames skater was Giordano at 23:39.
The Flames return home to welcome the Vancouver Canucks to Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary’s home opener (6 p.m. ET, SNET-W).
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