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Backlund: 'Play like it is the playoffs'

by Mike Board / Calgary Flames
DALLAS, TX., Mikael Backlund has been in the National Hockey League once before -- last season in a game against the New Yoirk Islanders in Calgary.

DATE: March 17, 1989 HEIGHT: 6’0”
WEIGHT: 200 lbs. SHOOTS: Left
HOW ACQUIRED: 1st round (24th overall) in the 2007 NHL Draft

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"Yeah, but I am still a little nervous," said Backlund, who will dress for the Flames tonight when they take on the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center.

The Flames first-round pick from the 2007 Entry Draft said he met with Flames coaches following the morning skate to get his instructions.

"They told me to treat the game like a playoff game, be good defensively and work hard," said Backlund, who is expected to centre Curtis Glencross and Eric Nystrom.

Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter recalled Backlund  from the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League on Tuesday after learning that Craig Conroy would not make the two-game trip to Dallas and Phoenix because of an Injury.

Backlund, a native of Vasteras, Sweden played in one game with the Calgary Flames last season.

In 47 games with the Abbotsford Heat this year he has recorded 22 points including 10 goals, 12 assists, five power play goals and two game winning goals.

"It's been up and down," said Backlund of his play in Abbotsford. "I've been a little inconsistent. I've been getting a lot of shots and a lot of chances but I have had some trouble burying the,. I have to improve on that."

Considered an offensive talent, Backlund has also been working with Heat head coach Jim Playfair on his defensive game.

"He has been helping me a lot," said Backlund. "He wants me to get better defensively. He works with me every day showing me video and at practices. It feels like I am imporving on that part of my game."

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