In giving Eddie Lack his first NHL start John Tortorella said the decision had something to do with learning about his backup goalie and something to do with learning about his team.

Lack as it turned out was the least of the Canucks' problems on Sunday night. As for the other half of Tortorella's fact-finding mission it's hard to know what exactly the Canucks' head coach learned about his team other than nothing absolutely nothing is going to come easy for them this season.

In the Flames' home opener the Canucks pulled a complete no-show for two periods fashioned an improbable comeback in the third period when Tortorella took a meat cleaver to his lineup took the lead on fourth-liner Dale Weise's goal with 3 and a half minutes left then piddled it away when Vancouver kid David Jones scored the tying goal for the Flames off a wild scramble with 19 seconds left.

Mike Santorelli with his second goal of the game then won it 5-4 in overtime on a setup by Kevin Bieksa who of course had been demoted earlier in the game. In all that craziness it was hard to know what to make of the Canucks' effort. While it wasn't exactly textbook it was fascinating theatre.

First the good news. The Sedin twins proved something of a point when they ignited the third-period comeback with a pair of goals after they were split up. Shortly after impressive rookie Sean Monahan gave the Flames a two-goal lead early in the third Daniel set up Jannik Hansen in the slot for the 3-2 goal before Henrik set up Mike Santorelli for the tying goal.

Weise then gave the Canucks the lead when he converted Brad Richardson's setup but with the Canucks collapsing around Lack in the final seconds Jones was able to poke in a loose puck to send the game into overtime.

Naturally the reunited Sedins almost produced the game-winner on their first shift but Flames goalie Joey McDonald who made a series of highlight-reel stops in the third shut the door. Santorelli then stuffed home the game-winner off a nifty set-up from Bieksa.