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Backlund scores for Flames in overtime, defeat Flyers

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com

CALGARY -- Mikael Backlund picked the perfect time to end his scoring slump.

Backlund scored 35 seconds into overtime and Karri Ramo made 26 saves when the Calgary Flames defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

"The guys were pretty pumped after," said Backlund, who had not scored in nine games. "It was a big relief to get this win. It would've been tough with the loss. We haven't put ourselves in a great spot so getting this was huge."

A shot from Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau was stopped by Philadelphia goaltender Michal Neuvirth, but the rebound ricocheted off Backlund and bounced over the line to give Calgary their second win in their past seven games and the second in seven games on home ice this season.

"It's always fun to play with Johnny -- you know something is going to happen," Backlund said. "I was just trying to drive the net there and hope he would pass or score himself. I was lucky to get the bounce. It went off my stomach and in. I'll take it. I haven't had the best start, either, so it's obviously nice to get that game-winner."

Josh Jooris also scored for the Flames (4-9-1), which had given up at least four goals against in each of the past six games prior to limiting Philadelphia to just one. Calgary has surrendered an NHL-high 57 goals against this season.

"I thought we grinded all night," Backlund said. "Everyone worked hard. I don't think we gave them up too many scoring chances. I thought this was one of our best defensive games where we had them on the outside and everyone was digging in and working hard."

Michael Raffl scored for the Flyers (4-6-3), who have lost their past six games, and are 0-3-1 on their current five-game road trip. Philadelphia concludes the trip against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.

"I'm not even thinking about where we want to be right now," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "We're going to go back to work. We're coming to the end of the road trip here and we need one push. I'm more worried about where we want to be two nights from now when we go to Winnipeg.

"We want to pick up with the same time of effort. This is a gutty road effort by us. We need to pick up where we left off there and when things aren't going well, you have to find a way. We have to push to get over the hump. We earned a point tonight."

The Flames improved to 3-0-0 in games decided in overtime.

"We worked on it in preseason quite a bit and watched some videos and talked about how we're going to play," Backlund said. "I think everybody's prepared going on the ice knowing what we're going to do. It's kind of lucky bounces, too. If one team gets a scoring chance, you're most likely going to get an opportunity the other way. That's what happened tonight."

Philadelphia, 0-5-3 when allowing the first goal of the game, fell behind 1-0 at 4:40 of the first period. After serving a penalty, Jooris had a breakaway on Neuvirth, who made the initial pad save before Jooris slid his second chance by the Flyers goaltender to give the Flames the lead.

"You just never know in a situation like that if the puck is going to bounce to you. I was ready," Jooris said. "I was a little bit rattled getting that penalty early on in their zone. I've had trouble staying out of the box this year. I just wanted to stay ready and once the puck came to me I was able to put it in on the second effort."

The goal came after Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano and Philadelphia forward Jakub Voracek, still seeking his first goal of the season, each hit goal posts in the opening minutes of the game.

Raffl scored with 36 seconds remaining in the second with a shot that trickled through Ramo's pads and over the goal line to tie the game 1-1.

"We had a decent period but we hadn't got a lot of opportunities," Hakstol said. "It was a pretty simple play. We got an initial puck to the net. We created some traffic and that created a little confusion out there and (we) recover that one and make a play. We needed that. We also had worked for it. We worked for it."

Neuvirth made 28 saves.

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