Calgary Flames' Blake Comeau, left, crashes into Vancouver Canucks goalie Cory Schneider as Canucks' Keith Ballard, right, watches during second period NHL hockey game action in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday January 23, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
VANCOUVER - The Calgary Flames showed plenty of fire Wednesday night, but still could not get the win they were desperately searching for.
"We always find a way to battle back and I think tonight our guys could have deserved better," said Flames coach Bob Hartley after Calgary dropped its third straight game to start the season, 3-2 in a shootout against the Vancouver Canucks. "I'm really proud of the way that we stuck in there."
After the Canucks surged to a 2-0 lead early in the second period, the Flames were sparked into action and received goals by Alex Tanguay and Mikael Backlund to ensure the game was tied going into the third period.
The result was almost a mirror image of Calgary's last game, when they fought back from a 3-0 deficit at home to the Anaheim Ducks to make it 3-3, before eventually losing 5-4.
Hartley spoke glowingly of his team's effort and felt they were heading in the right direction.
Rather than highlight the need for better starts going forward, Hartley was in awe of the never-say-die attitude his team was showing so far.
"This league is very even and the beauty of the game of hockey is it's a game of momentum," he said. "There's lots of swings and at least we always find a way to get back in the game and we were not quitting so I think that's a very positive point."
Tanguay was also proud of the way his team recovered a slow start, but acknowledged the importance of playing three solid periods.
"We just haven't been able to put a full game together," he said. "But we're starting to figure out the way coach Hartley wants us to play and we're starting to get more used to what we have to do out there, and I think that tonight in the latter part of the game was a good example of that."
While two points haven't arrived so far, Tanguay denied it was time to push the panic button ahead of Saturday's game at home to Edmonton.
"For the people that have watched our team play, we've had bits and pieces where we just control the play and play like we can and tonight in the second part of the game we played a very good solid game," he said.
"We just need to find a way now to win games."