Allentown
37° F
Clear
Clear

Went to a fight and a Canucks game broke out

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jan 19 2014 12:24:11 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 19 2014 02:50:31 AM CST
Canucks

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Kellan Lain's parents flew cross-country to watch their son's first NHL game.

And the Vancouver Canucks left winger even started against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

But his official ice time wound up being 0:02 as the Canucks and Flames opened the game at Rogers Arena with an old-fashioned line brawl.

Vancouver won 3-2 thanks to a decisive shootout goal by left winger Chris Higgins, but the story of the night was the rough stuff and Vancouver's head coach attempting to get at the Flames' coaching staff between the first and second periods.

The visiting team fills out its starting lineup first and Calgary coach Bob Hartley started his fourth line, a bruising trio of muscle with one goal and five points between them this season.

Another coach might have put out the first line and told them to skate circles around the behemoths in Calgary jerseys.

Not John Tortorella.

When Tortorella saw Calgary's starting five, he put out his fourth line and the gloves dropped after the puck did.

The average size of Calgary's starting five skaters was 6 feet 3, 218 pounds; Vancouver's was 6-3, 217.

Calgary received 77 minutes in penalties out of the donnybrook, Vancouver 65 minutes and a two-minute power play.

Four players from each team were ejected with game misconducts, leaving each side with just four defensemen apiece.

In all, the chippy first period ended with each team being handed 15 penalties for a combined 178 penalty minutes.

At one point, with the ejections and some further roughing penalties and 10-minute misconducts, the Canucks had just five skaters on the players' bench before the game was five minutes old.

Things did not end there.

Tortorella ran toward the Calgary dressing room between periods. He was stopped at the door by a sea of Flames players and equipment staff and was on the receiving end of a hockey-glove face wash from Flames right winger Brian McGrattan.

McGrattan is 6-4 and 235 pounds; Tortorella is not (5-8, 175).

At least three Canucks players escorted Tortorella back to the Vancouver room.

In the second period, Flames captain Mark Giordano snuck in from his position on defense to open scoring at 1:37 of the second period, followed by a goal from Vancouver center Ryan Kesler at 3:50.

Calgary center Matt Stajan made it 2-1 at 4:01 of the third period before Canucks defenseman Yannick Weber forced overtime at 11:48.

NOTES: Canucks LW Tom Sestito got kicked out of the game at 0:02 of the first period. Three games ago, he was booted out at 0:01 of the first period at Los Angeles. ... C Mike Santorelli (shoulder) did not dress for the Canucks. ... G Roberto Luongo returned after missing six games with a lower-body injury. Vancouver LW Alex Burrows returned after missing 35 with a broken jaw. ... The Canucks were held to one goal or shut out 15 times heading into the game. They scored just one goal in their previous three games. ... Calgary also had trouble scoring, being shut out in five of its 11 previous games. ... Of the Flames' 16 wins before Saturday's game, 13 were by one goal. Calgary had 27 one-goal games (13-8-6). ... At 679 straight games played, all with the Canucks, C Henrik Sedin has the second-longest ironman streak in the NHL. He did not come out of the dressing room for the third period.