The Blue Jackets jumped out to a 4-1 lead, but then surrendered five unanswered goals in what was ultimately a 9-6 defeat.
When asked by a reporter postgame if his team stopped playing or if the Flames started playing when Columbus led by three, Tortorella said, "No, we didn't stop playing."
The Blue Jackets bench boss then dismissed the reporter's notion that his players took their feet off the gas but said, "I have no idea," when asked to describe what happened.
"It certainly wasn't through lack of effort." Tortorella added, concluding the exchange.
Flames forward Sean Monahan potted a power-play goal to make it 4-2 early in the second period, and teammate Elias Lindholm scored to cut the lead to one less than a minute later. Matthew Tkachuk, Noah Hanifin, and T.J. Brodie followed suit for Calgary.
Nick Foligno replied for Columbus to cut the Flames' lead to 6-5 with five minutes left in the second frame, but Calgary outscored the Blue Jackets 3-1 in the third to seal the victory.