WASHINGTON, D.C. - With three first-period tallies, the Calgary Flames — temporarily — silenced the fans at Verizon Center.
The final result won't silence the naysayers.
The Flames scored a hat-trick of goals before the first intermission of Thursday's season-opener in D.C., but the Alex Ovechkin Show started in the second period and the out-of-towners frittered away their three-goal lead in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals.
“Very happy with the effort. Obviously, disappointed with the result,” summed up Flames head coach Bob Hartley. “I told the boys, 'It's one thing to play in the NHL and there's a different way to win in the NHL. Just don't be glad to be in the NHL. When you have a 3-0 lead, you have to find a way to keep it.'
“We're not going to start tonight on Game 1, saying 'We're young' and all this. There's absolutely no excuse.”
Let's start with the good news.