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Calgary Flames

Flames, Huberdeau Respond To Outside Noise With Loud Statement Win Over Rangers

The Calgary Flames won a big 3-2 overtime decision over the New York Rangers on Saturday with Jonathan Huberdeau responding after his agent’s tweet suggested he was having no fun with his new team.



Maybe social media has an impact in the locker-room after all. Turns out it might be a positive one for the Calgary Flames.

Instead of reeling after a controversial tweet by Jonathan Huberdeau’s agent Allan Walsh suggested Flames head coach Darryl Sutter was sucking the joy out of the game for his players, the players rallied.

They did it with their words on Friday, suggesting all was well behind closed doors. Of course, words are meaningless in the NHL. They couldn’t come out and say anything other than scripted band of brothers messaging.

How they played on Saturday night with the entire country watching closely spoke volumes.

Huberdeau played arguably his best game as a member of the Calgary Flames, setting up the team’s second goal in the opening minute and then Mikael Backlund’s overtime winner in the 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Hockey Night in Canada.

“Walshy fired me up, I guess,” Huberdeau joked in a walk-off post-game TV interview.

His teammates did their part as well. Andrew Mangiapane scored on a stellar individual effort, out-waiting Jaroslav Halak in close and tucking the puck into a corner just 38 seconds into the game.

Kadri scored his 21st of the season eight seconds later as the Flames made a statement off the start.

The Rangers climbed back with a big performance by Halak, who finished with 29 saves, and goals from newcomer Vladimir Tarasenko late in the second and then Alexis Lafreniere on a powerplay with a little more than seven minutes remaining in regulation.

But the Flames weren’t going to be denied on the night. It’s not hyperbole to suggest it’s the kind of game to turn a season around after a consistently inconsistent performance through the first two thirds of the year.

They looked like they were having fun early. Then again late when Backlund tipped the hard, high shot/pass from Huberdeau for the winner on a powerplay in OT.
"For me, personally, it has been a while, so it feels good,” Huberdeau said of leaving the ice feeling confident. “But I think as a team, too, you know, it’s fun to see the guys smiling and having some fun. That’s what it’s all about.

“We have a special team.”

Maybe they do. Fortunately, it's not too late to show it. 

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