VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Kellan Lain's parents flew cross-country to watch their son's first NHL game.

And the Vancouver Canucks left winger even started against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

But his official ice time wound up being 0:02 as the Canucks and Flames opened the game at Rogers Arena with an old-fashioned line brawl.

Vancouver won 3-2 on a decisive shootout goal by left winger Chris Higgins after, eventually, a hockey game broke out.

But not before Vancouver coach John Tortorella tried to barge into the Calgary dressing room after the first period to give Flames coach Bob Hartley an earful because of the players he put on the ice to start the game -- a trio with a combined three goals this season.

Tortorella answered with his fourth line and the gloves dropped right after the puck did on the opening faceoff.

"I saw their starting lineup and I know the other guy across the bench," Tortorella said. "It's easy to say 'Put the Sedins out there and deflate it,' but I'm not going to put them at risk."

Tortorella said he wasn't proud of what happened and felt especially bad for Lain.

"I'll kick myself forever for putting Lainer out there," he said.

For the Canucks, who had scored just one goal in their previous three games, it was an important two points and only their second win in 10 games.

It was also Vancouver's fourth game in six nights and 59:58 of it was spent with a bench depleted of four players -- five after center and captain Henrik Sedin was told to take his gear off by Tortorella before the third period. Sedin is listed as day to day.

Calgary had four players ejected as well for the game-opening brawl, with each team losing two defensemen in the process.

At one point late in the first period, Vancouver had only five skaters on its bench after the ejections, minor penalties and a 10-minute misconduct.

"That's a good win for us," Tortorella said. "We needed to get that (second) point."

The game marked the return of Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo, who missed six games with a lower-body injury.

Luongo stopped a breakaway, a handful of good Calgary chances and four of five shooters in the shootout.

"Lu made key saves; he stood tall," Tortorella said.

Also coming off injury after missing 20 games with a broken jaw, left winger Alex Burrows played 20:46, a lot of ice time for a forward not to mention one not quite in game shape.

Wearing a full-face shield, Burrows three times wound up in scrums or pushing matches with Calgary players, a couple of whom took potshots at his guarded jaw.

"I don't think they were targeting me," said Burrows, who twice missed getting his stick on passes with the net in front of him. "I wasn't thinking about my jaw out there, I wanted to get in there and play hard for the team."

After a scoreless first period, Calgary jumped out to the lead thanks to captain Mark Giordano, who snuck in from his defense position to score from the hash marks at 1:37.

Just over two minutes later, Canucks center Ryan Kesler answered, converting a Zack Kassian pass at 3:50.

Flames center Matt Stajan gave his team the lead again at 4:01 of the third period before defenseman Yannick Weber, No. 8 on the depth chart but No. 4 in the game because of injuries and the shortened bench, scored on the power play at 11:48 to force overtime.

The extra five minutes solved nothing and Higgins, the fifth Vancouver shooter, won the game in the shootout.

For the Flames, it was their 28th one-goal game, with all but three of their wins coming in those affairs. Their record in one-goal games fell to 13-8-7.