(SportsNetwork.com) - The Calgary Flames were known for their strong third periods during the regular season and they made use of that skill to grab an early lead over the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference quarterfinals.
Calgary hopes to build off the comeback victory and take a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-seven series when it visits the Canucks for Friday's Game 2 battle at Rogers Arena.
The Flames tied the Tampa Bay Lightning for the most third-period goals scored this season with 99 while only allowing 68 tallies in the final 20 minutes of regulation. Calgary won 10 regular-season games when trailing after 40 minutes of play.
In Game 1 on Wednesday, Calgary found itself down 1-0 heading into the third period, but by the end of the stanza the club was on top 2-1. David Jones tied the contest just under eight minutes into the final period and Kris Russell delivered the victory by notching his first career playoff goal with only 29.6 seconds remaining in regulation.
With time winding down, Russell accepted a pass from Dennis Wideman across the blue line, moved in from the left point and sent a low slapper around a diving defender and through traffic past a screened Eddie Lack for the deciding marker.
"I had a lane and the guys did such a good job of getting in (Lack's) way," Russell said.
Russell's goal was the latest game-winning marker in a period in Flames' playoff history, breaking the previous record set by Joel Otto at 19:21 of overtime in Game 7 of the Smythe Division semifinals against Vancouver on Apr. 15, 1989
Jonas Hiller was solid in net, making 29 saves in Calgary's first playoff appearance since 2009.
"It feels like nothing rattles us," Flames head coach Bob Hartley said. "In the third period, we could feel it on the bench ... As soon as Jones scored, I felt that we had another gear."
Rookie Bo Horvat provided Vancouver's lone tally, scoring at 12:08 of the second period. Lack, starting in place of veteran Ryan Miller, stopped 28 shots in the Canucks' return to the postseason after last year's absence.
"We made a couple choices that weren't great," Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins said. "We didn't generate as much in the last 10 minutes as we wanted."
Desjardins did not indicate whether Lack would get the start again over Miller, who missed over a month of action with a knee injury before getting shelled for five goals in Vancouver's regular-season finale against Edmonton.
Calgary played Game 1 without forward Lance Bouma, who sat out with an upper- body injury. Bouma is not expected to play tonight.
The Canucks and Flames split four meetings during the regular season, with Vancouver winning one of its games in overtime.
This series marks the seventh postseason encounter between the clubs, but the first since the 2004 conference quarterfinals, won in seven games by Calgary. The Flames have won four of the six prior playoff encounters.
Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday night in Calgary.