“The mentality on the bench was very different after we gave up that goal than it’s been in the past,” Butler said. “We’ve been a little bit fragile, but I thought guys did a good job stepping up right after we gave up that goal.

“We didn’t panic, we didn’t go into a shell and I think that’s a positive step for us.”

Flames netminder Karri Ramo finished the night with 29 saves, including a penalty shot attempt for Skinner late in the third period.

Ramo has allowed one goal against in three of his last four starts. The Flames, as a team, have surrendered nine goals in their last six outings.

“I think we’ve been giving less and less turnovers and that’s the key,” Ramo said. “Other teams doesn’t get too many odd-man rushes and too many breakaways. I think that’s one key and our penalty kill has been really good lately.

“You cut the chances down and scoring goes down, too.”

To say the first two periods lacked entertainment value would be a bit of an understatement to say the least.

The downside to facing every team in the other conference twice a season is the chance of a dud without any form of rivalry.

Case in point was this affair before the announced Saddledome sellout crowd of 19,289.

Until McGrattan opened the scoring, the scoring chances were few and far between.

In fact, Ramo was fortunate with more pucks hitting the post — both Skinner and Justin Faulk rang the iron — than Grade A scoring chances he had to stop before the second intermission.