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Flames can't find fifth win in road trip finale

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

OTTAWA, ON -- They didn’t go quietly into the night.

Winding down a season-high seven-game road trip through the Eastern Conference, the Calgary Flames couldn’t orchestrate a fourth come-from-behind victory in falling to the Ottawa Senators 5-4 in a shootout at Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday.

But plenty was gained regardless.

“We always want the two points,” Mikael Backlund said. “Obviously we’re disappointed we didn’t get two points. Same time we made a huge comeback and obviously we’ll take that with us.”

Through the first 40 minutes of the game, it didn’t look promising.

Trailing 4-0 heading into the third, Calgary pieced together the most dramatic of their 11 wins when trailing after two periods.

“We were just sitting in here being positive and saying we’ve got nothing to lose,” Backlund said. “Everything we’ve got left, just leave it out there. Like Bob said, if there’s any team that can come back from 4-0, it’s us. That’s the mentality we had going into the third. We had nothing to lose.”

In having nothing to lose, they gained a point.

Joe Colborne sent a knuckler in from the high slot 6:56 in that beat Craig Anderson to break the shutout bid. Kris Russell added another at 11:28 on the power play, bouncing a slap shot off a Senators shin-pad.

Fifty-nine seconds later, Mikael Backlund cut the lead to 4-3.

It prompted an Ottawa timeout.

It didn’t help.

Russell, with his second, tied the game with another blast from the high slot. Just 2:15 remained on the clock at that time.

It forced overtime and guaranteed the Flames a point.

They couldn’t get two, with Erik Karlsson netting the shootout winner for Ottawa.

“That’s right up there,” Colborne said. “You feel like you can’t gain any ground in the playoff race right now and that one point can end up being huge. We can look back at this road trip and be pretty proud of what happened, especially the second half of this road trip. Now you have to take that momentum and make sure we keep it going at home.”

Calgary earned nine of a possible 14 points on the trip after dropping two of the first three in the New York area and lost captain Mark Giordano for the season, too.

Instead of folding, Calgary rebounded.

It started with a 3-2 overtime win against the Philadelphia Flyers, a game which saw the Flames squander a 2-0 third period lead before recovering two points courtesy Jiri Hudler’s game-winner.

It continued against the Boston Bruins, letting another third period edge slip before David Schlemko -- in his first game in Flames silks -- became an Internet sensation with his shootout winner and give Calgary a 4-3 win.

It persisted against the Detroit Red Wings, rallying from a two-goal, first period deficit to score five unanswered to win 5-2.

It ended in a loss that might’ve felt a little like a win in Ottawa.

“This was a great comeback,” Backlund said. “Probably one of the best this year. There’s so many. It’s hard to rate it. 4-0 is a pretty big lead going into the third. We were all really excited when we scored our fourth there.”

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