It took four games, a first time full lineup and a visit from their provincial rival for Bob Hartley to get his first win as Flames coach.
And what the veteran mentor saw, he hopes he sees many more times this season from his squad.
In turning back the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Saturday, Hartley got a consistent performance from his team as experience won out over youth.
The Flames, who had gone 0-2-1 in three games, were undaunted about all the hype they’d been hearing about the youthful Oilers, who had eight players in their lineup under the age of 23. The Oilers had won two of their first three matches including Thursday’s overtime triumph over the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
Knowledge told the Flames that getting the early jump on a youthful club often leads to success. It proved correct on this night with Calgary gaining a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals from Mikael Backlund and Jay Bouwmeester.
After that, the Oilers never really challenged. Each time Edmonton would score a power-play goal, the wily Flames would step on the gas to resurrect a two-goal lead. The Oilers scored a goal with one second left in the game to make it a one-goal differential.
Curtis Glencross and Lee Stempniak, both scoring for the third time this season, had the other Calgary goals with Stempniak adding two assists to tie Glencross for the team scoring lead.
The story of the night, however, was Bouwmeester, who in addition to his goal had an assist and was solid defensively all game against the team from his hometown.
Bouwmeester and his teammates limited the Oilers to 20 shots on Miikka Kiprusoff, only six of them over a 35-minute stretch through that included the entire second period and all except the final five minutes of the third.
Czech Republic free agent signings Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka made their Calgary debuts and Hartley was pleased with what he saw from the wingers, who teamed up with centre Matt Stajan.
The Flames get four days now to prepare before hosting Colorado on Thursday.