CALGARY -- Markus Granlund scored his first career NHL goal and Joni Ortio made 30 saves for his first victory in the Calgary Flames' 4-1 win against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday night.
Ortio and Granlund were two of seven players in Calgary's lineup against the Senators who have played at least 16 games this season for the Flames' American Hockey League affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat. It's a result of moving Reto Berra and Lee Stempniak at the NHL Trade Deadline and a rash of injuries to strike the club and the first time since Jan. 8, 2010 the Flames have had at least seven of their own draft picks in the lineup.
"The way the younger guys played is amazing," Ortio said. "It's a joy to watch the do as well as they did. They've been working hard and they've been playing really well down there. I'm glad to see (players) get rewarded for that.
"The whole game felt good. I know that it's a cliché, but the guys did a great job in front of me so it was easy."
Ottawa's loss gave Alberta-based teams a sweep of the Senators, who in addition to the 27th-place Flames also fell to the 29th-place Edmonton Oilers by a 3-2 score on Tuesday. They too were active at the deadline, acquiring Ales Hemsky from the Oilers and re-signing Chris Phillips in an effort to make a push for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"These were two teams that with all due respect, we probably should've beat in terms of standings and what not," Senators defenseman Marc Methot said. "We kind of threw those points away now and hopefully it won't hurt us down the road. This is going to be a heck of a challenge for us going forward."
Coach Paul MacLean admitted his team's effort needs to be stronger.
"We don't play hard enough long enough to even give ourselves a chance to win or even an expectation to win in three of the last four games," he said. "That's certainly not a team battling for a playoff spot. That's a team that's conceding a playoff spot. That's what we have to discuss and that's what we have to find out because we certainly played two teams that were possibly winnable games, but you've got to play the games. We didn't play the games."
Granlund, who is second in goals (23) and fourth in points (44) among AHL rookies, wasted little time scoring his first after notching his first NHL point with an assist in a 3-2 loss against the Minnesota Wild on Monday.
Max Reinhart picked off a pass at the Senators' blue line and fired a shot that was deflected into the slot and into the skates of Granlund, who kicked the puck up to his stick before chipping a shot over Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson to put Calgary up 1-0 at 2:04 of the first period.
"Reinhart got the puck and tried to shoot it, it came across to me," Granlund said. "It was a good bounce. It felt great, first NHL goal, you can only score one first NHL goal so it's a nice feeling."
Ottawa failed to record a shot until 9:15 of the first when Bobby Ryan's one-timer was denied by Ortio's pad. The Senators' second shot came with 6:45 remaining, a slap shot from the top of the slot off the stick of the newly acquired Ales Hemsky, which Ortio calmly gloved.
A flurry of chances followed Hemsky's chance and despite holding a 7-2 edge through the first 14 minutes, the Flames quickly saw the gap erased but still took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Calgary extended that lead to three after 40 minutes.
Failing to convert on a breakaway after stepping out of the penalty box, Mark Giordano made amends on a Flames power play four minutes later after Paul Byron -- another Abbotsford call-up -- redirected his pass by the pad of a screened Anderson for his third of the year to put the Flames up 2-0 at 9:12.
With 2:47 remaining, Joe Colborne gave Calgary a three-goal lead. Parked backdoor, Colborne converted on a Jiri Hudler spinning feed from below the goal line for his first goal in 20 games and fifth of the season.
With a power play following a skirmish as a result of a Clarke MacArthur hit that forced Hudler from the game 19 seconds into the third, the Senators tried to climb back into the game but were met by Ortio, who stuffed two attempts from Jason Spezza on the doorstep.
Kyle Turris ended Ortio's shutout bid with 9:36 remaining in the game, but Mike Cammalleri quickly restored the three-goal advantage with his second in as many games 58 seconds later.
"I was trying to get there, but I tried to block it out," Ortio said. "Now that I didn't get it, at least I have something to wait for in the future."
|Back to top ↑|