Flames take on Canucks in home opener

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Updated: October 6, 2013

(SportsNetwork.com) – Sean Monahan seems to have this NHL thing down already.

The Calgary rookie defenseman will make his home debut on Sunday night as the
Flames begin a three-game stay at Scotiabank Saddledome versus the Vancouver
Canucks.

Taken sixth overall by the Flames in the 2013 draft, Monahan picked up an
assist in his first NHL game on Thursday, a 5-4 shootout loss in Washington.
He then scored 2:27 into Friday night’s 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue
Jackets for his first career tally.

“It’s a relief to get it in my second game. It’s pretty awesome,” said
Monahan. “Everything is going so quickly right now. I’m taking everything one
day at a time and on the ice one shift at a time. I’m learning a lot and I
feel like I’m getting better every day.”

T.J. Galiardi also scored in the first period, while Jiri Hudler and Curtis
Glencross put the Flames ahead for good by scoring 42 seconds apart in the
third period.

Joey MacDonald stopped 29-of-32 shots in goal, while Galiardi added an assist
in the triumph.

The Flames will celebrate their home opener against the Canucks, who have
split their first two games of the season. They lost in San Jose on Thursday,
but won their first home contest of the campaign on Saturday night with a 6-2
decision over Edmonton.

John Tortorella earned his first victory as Vancouver’s head coach thanks to
five straight goals from his offense. Brad Richardson scored shorthanded to
begin the run, which also included goals by Dan Hamhuis, Jannik Hansen, Daniel
Sedin and Ryan Kesler.

Hansen joined Daniel and Henrik Sedin on the top line with Alex Burrows
expected to miss a few weeks of action due to a lower body injury suffered
while blocking a shot in Thursday’s loss.

“That’s the way we want to play,” Kesler said. “We let up that early goal, but
we responded right away and kept coming and they cracked.”

Jason Garrison added a short-handed empty-net goal and Roberto Luongo made 21
saves.

The Canucks won four of five versus the Flames a season ago, splitting two
trips to Calgary. They have won 10 of the previous 14 encounters overall and
six of their last nine in Calgary.