CALGARY, Alberta — Flames center Markus Granlund made the most of his opportunity after three teammates were benched.
Granlund scored his first goal in 21 games and added an assist to lead Calgary to a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.
A healthy scratch the past three games, the 22-year-old Finn got back into the lineup only because coach Bob Hartley sat All-Star Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan — the team's top two scorers — along with veteran Lance Bouma for disciplinary reasons.
"We established team rules at the start of the season. We're a very proud hockey club. We have built what we believe to be a very strong culture that goes for everyone," Hartley said.
"It was tough because you can't get three better young men. They're proud of representing this community. They're easy to coach and everything but when you make a mistake, we have to be accountable and we have to be fair to everyone."
It was the first multipoint game of the season for Granlund.
"It felt good. I think two weeks ago I had some good chances to score but I couldn't score. Now it feels good," said Granlund, who opened the scoring on a short-handed breakaway.
Mikael Backlund, Michael Ferland and Dougie Hamilton also scored for Calgary, which won consecutive games for the first time in a month.
The Flames are seven points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. They are eight points back of Anaheim, which occupies third place in the Pacific Division.
Peter Holland, Josh Leivo, with his first of the season, and Jake Gardiner scored for Toronto. The Maple Leafs have dropped the first two on a five-game road trip that continues Thursday in Edmonton.
The Maple Leafs were also without several key players, the most notable being captain Dion Phaneuf, who was involved in a nine-player trade with the Ottawa Senators earlier in the day.
"It was pretty emotional for a lot of the guys. (Phaneuf) was one of our really good friends and obviously our leader on our team," Gardiner said. "Obviously, it was tough all day long and we just tried to refocus for the game. I thought we competed well but just didn't start the way we wanted to."
Toronto also was missing recently injured Joffrey Lupul, Tyler Bozak and Shawn Matthias. James van Riemsdyk (foot) was already out.
"We gave up a short-handed goal that we shouldn't have. I thought we gave them two gifts, but I thought we did a lot of good things. In the end we worked hard and had the puck a lot, but didn't score enough to win," coach Mike Babcock said.
Ahead 2-1 after the opening 20 minutes, Calgary surged in front by three on goals by Ferland and Hamilton.
Leivo got one back late in the second and Gardiner's goal at 8:37 of the third set up a furious finish. However, despite the encouragement of the many pockets of boisterous Toronto supporters in the sellout crowd of 19,289, the Maple Leafs could not complete the comeback.
A hot topic postgame was Mark Giordano's hard, open-ice hit on Nazem Kadri in the first period. Kadri was furious as he left the ice and replays appeared to show him making a throat-slashing gesture toward the Flames captain after he returned to the bench.
"I heard about the reaction but I didn't see it so I can't comment on this but it was a good, old-time hit. Very simple. We should teach kids to hit like this," Hartley said.
The Maple Leafs center said he let his emotions get the best of him after being flattened in the Calgary zone.
"It's not something that I even remember really doing to be honest. I was kind of in and out a little bit after that hit, just furious. It was an emotional reaction and that's about it," he said.
Jonas Hiller made 32 stops for the Flames, and James Reimer finished with 18 saves for Toronto.
NOTES: Inserted into the Toronto lineup were a trio of forwards recalled Monday from the AHL in Rich Clune, Leivo and Mark Arcobello. ... Calgary D Jakub Nakladal made his NHL debut but only played two shifts for a total ice time of 1:45. ... With seven defensemen dressed, Deryk Engelland started the game on right wing before returning to the blue line.