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Inside The Game: Flames vs. Wild

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames


CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames might want to delay the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Mikael Backlund scored his second of the game 2:25 into overtime to lift the Flames to a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, their fifth straight win at Scotiabank Saddledome to wrap up the home portion of Calgary's pre-Olympic schedule.

It’s the first time since 1997 that the Flames have swept a five-game set on home ice.

Backlund won it for the Flames when he batted Sean Monahan's rebound out of mid-air and behind Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper for his 13th of the season. He has recorded two points in each of the Flames' past four games.

It was necessary, too, after goals from Dany Heatley and Keith Ballard with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation forced overtime and Backlund’s eventual heroics.

TJ Galardi, with his first since Oct. 4, opened the scoring for the Flames, taking a return pass from Kevin Westgarth and backhanding the puck through Kuemper at 12:36 of the first period to give Calgary a 1-0 lead.

After Matt Cooke’s shorthanded marker tied the game at 14:03 of the second, Dennis Wideman’s deflection seven seconds after Zach Parise’s slashing penalty expired restored Calgary’s one-goal advantage.

It was pushed to two just a minute into the third period, with Backlund banging home another rebound to put the Flames up 3-1. With an assist on the play, captain Mark Giordano extended his point-scoring streak to nine games -- the longest such streak from a defenceman this season.


Galiardi opened the scoring at 12:36 of the first period taking a return pass from Kevin Westgarth before spinning and firing a backhand that made its way past Kuemper for his first in 38 games to put the Flames up 1-0.


Before leaving the game due to a lower body injury, Ramo threw his body in front of Charlie Coyle’s attempt after the Minnesota Wild forward stepped around Mike Cammalleri and went in alone on the Flames goaltender.


Backlund bunted Monahan’s rebound out of mid-air 2:25 into overtime to lift the Flames to a fifth straight win on Scotiabank Saddledome ice.


The Flames last five-game winning streak at home streak came from Feb. 23 to March 27, 2013. It's also the first time since Feb. 7-15, 1997, that Calgary has swept a five-game homestand.


Ben Street and Paul Byron were scratched against the Wild. Kris Russell (upper body) and Curtis Glencross (high ankle sprain) also missed the game due to injury.


The Flames head out for a three-game road trip starting Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens (5:30 p.m. MST, RDS, SNET-W, Sportsnet 960 The Fan).

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