CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Markus Granlund's first NHL goal helped fellow rookie Joni Ortio record his first NHL win and the Calgary Flames beat the Ottawa Senators 4-1 on Wednesday night.
Born exactly two years apart, the 20-year-old Granlund and his older countryman from Finland are key parts of the future for the rebuilding Flames.
Their memorable night came six days after they made their NHL debut together in Calgary's first game back from the Olympic break.
"The coincidences keep coming," said Ortio, who had 30 saves. "We got to debut together. Now his first goal and my first win. I'm glad to see him out there and doing well."
The two close friends have spent most of the season at Abbotsford in the American Hockey League where they established themselves as two of the Heat's top players.
"We're good friends so it's nice. He had a great game," said Granlund, who was playing his fourth game.
Ortio admits it was a night they didn't see coming back in September at training camp.
"Back then, we thought it was a long shot. I don't think either one of us expected to play up top this year, but I'm happy it's turned out this way," Ortio said.
Ortio's performance came on the day where his place in the NHL got a lot more secure after the Flames traded first-year Swiss goaltender Reto Berra. Ortio will now share the crease with Karri Ramo when he returns from injury.
Granlund scored 2:04 into the first period, set up on the play by Max Reinhart, who in his first NHL shift of the season, took the puck from Zack Smith at the Senators blue line and got the puck over to his linemate.
The Flames didn't look back as Paul Byron, Joe Colborne and Mike Cammalleri also scored for Calgary. Rookie Sean Monahan added two assists. The Flames have won six of their past seven games at home.
Kyle Turris, with his 20th of the season, scored for Ottawa. The Senators, who have lost four of their past five, will wrap up a four-game road trip in Winnipeg on Saturday.
"Right now, there's no push back like when we got down 1-0," Senators winger Bobby Ryan said. "We should be more resilient than we have been. Maybe it's a sign of wanting it too badly that you get down by one and you get away from everything because everyone wants to be the guy that goes and gets that tying goal or next goal."
The game came after a busy NHL trade deadline day in which the two teams went in different directions.
Ottawa was a buyer, adding Ales Hemsky from the Edmonton Oilers earlier in the day. After scoring twice against the Senators on Tuesday night, the 30-year-old had two shots in 15:55 minutes of ice time, playing on a line with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek.
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