-- VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames engaged in a wild first-period brawl Saturday night which later carried over to Canucks coach John Tortorella being involved in an altercation in the hallway outside of the Flames' dressing room.
The opening minutes of the NHL game, which the Canucks won 3-2 in a shootout, was like a scene from the movie "Slap Shot."
It brought back memories of when teams such as the Broad Street Bullies and Big Bad Boston Bruins hit the ice.
"I don't think anybody expected that," said Flames defenseman Chris Butler, one of eight players ejected from the game.
"It's been a while since something like that happened, five guys pairing off."
The Flames raised a red flag by putting their fourth line on the ice to start the game. The Canucks countered with their tough guys.
Defenseman Kevin Bieksa took the opening draw for Vancouver and a line brawl broke out as soon as the puck was dropped.
Just 2 seconds had ticked off the clock when all five skaters from each team taking the opening faceoff dropped their gloves and began throwing punches.
"They started their goon squad over there," said Sestito, who leads the NHL with 167 penalty minutes in 47 games. "I just don't think we're going to be backing down from guys.
"Torts told us they were starting their idiots over there so we had to match that," Sestito said.
Sestito and McGrattan remained in the game.
In the aftermath of the brawl Tortorella could be seen yelling at the Flames bench and coach Bob Hartley.
"It's great that he has our back," Sestito said.
The bad blood wasn't confined to the ice. At the end of the first period CBC, which televised the game, captured Tortorella attempting to go into the Flames locker room at Rogers Arena. McGrattan pushed him away.
Flames goaltender coach Clint Malarchuk came out of the Flames dressing room after Tortorella and McGrattan were separated. Malarchuk followed Tortorella, but was restrained by several members of Calgary's staff and McGrattan.
Much of the altercation appeared off camera, but another camera showed Vancouver defenseman Chris Tanev pulling Burrows back toward the Canucks dressing room.
Tortorella made no apologizes for the lineup he started.
"I know the other guy across the bench," he said. "It's easy for people to say 'well put the Sedins out there and it's deflated.' I can't put our players at risk like that.
"With the lineup that he had, I'm not going to put those types of players at risk and that's what ensued. I'm not proud of it. I've apologized to every one of the players involved in it. I don't feel great about it at all."
Hartley was left shaking his head over Tortorella charging his team's dressing room.
"I just don't understand," he said. "I got out of there. I don't need to get suspended or fined.
"There is nothing to be settled there. I just don't understand what was going on."
Hartley also defended his starting lineup.
"Those guys are playing well for us," he said. "They got a goal last game. We're not scoring many goals. We had zero intentions there.
"As far as I know they were the home team. They had the luxury to put whoever they wanted on the ice."
The teams combined for 188 penalty minutes in the first period -- 142 penalty minutes in the first five minutes of the game and smaller skirmishes throughout the opening period. Calgary's Shane O'Brien and Vancouver's Zack Kassian each received 10-minute misconducts later in the period. A total of 204 penalty minutes were logged Saturday night.
Tortorella declined to answer questions about potential disciplinary actions, though it is safe to assume he will likely receive either a hefty fine, a suspension or both.
The fiery coach has been fined multiple times for some particularly colorful post-game tirades. He has also been suspended previously for throwing a water bottle at a fan during a game against the Washington Capitals in 2009.
This was not the first time Tortorella encountered a situation like Saturday night. He blasted Devils coach Pete DeBoer from the bench after DeBoer started his fourth line against the Rangers in 2012, an uncannily similar incident in which Tortorella matched with his tough guys -- having rugged defenseman Stu Bickel take the opening draw -- and a line brawl ensued.