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game recap

Flames score two late goals to defeat Wild

Minnesota enters Stanley Cup Playoffs on five-game losing streak

by Dan Myers / Correspondent

Sieloff's first NHL goal

CGY@MIN: Sieloff breaks tie with first NHL goal

4/9/16: Patrick Sieloff's backhand deflects off a stick and takes a wicked bounce that finds the net for his first NHL goal and a late 2-1 lead

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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- There was nothing on the line for the Minnesota Wild when they played the Calgary Flames at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday, but the result left plenty of questions as they prepare for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Brandon Bollig and Patrick Sieloff scored 31 seconds apart late in the third period, and goaltender Niklas Backstrom made 35 saves to rally the Flames past the Wild 2-1.

Minnesota dominated much of the game, outshooting Calgary 31-11 through two periods. However, the late surge by the Flames, who were eliminated from postseason contention two weeks ago, was enough to send the Wild to their fifth consecutive loss.

"We played well tonight. Obviously the third wasn't what we wanted. But we played fast, we were generating shots and opportunities," Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk said. "[Backstrom] played great. If you continue to play like that game after game after game, you get rewarded. But that's our identity."

The Wild, the second wild card from the Western Conference, will open against the Central Division champion Dallas Stars.

Video: CGY@MIN: Dalpe sneaks it by Backstrom with backhand

"[We need] a little more hunger in front of the net, [we] didn't get enough net identity tonight. That was something we stressed, a lot, and didn't get it," Minnesota coach John Torchetti said. "It's definitely frustrating because that's a detail we have to do. Teams that win championships have to do the details and make the adjustments. In Chicago, they ask Jonathan Toews to stand in front of the net and he stands in front of the net, bottom line."

Backstrom, playing in perhaps his final NHL game at age 38, was often brilliant, making 13 saves in the first period and 17 in the second for his second win of the season and 196th of his career. The first 194 came with the Wild before Minnesota traded him to Calgary on Feb. 29.

Backstrom is Minnesota's franchise leader among goaltenders in games (409), wins and shutouts (28), and was named the game's No. 1 star. He emerged from the tunnel for a final curtain call and received a standing ovation from the fans.

The usually stoic Backstrom was visibly emotional afterward.

"If this is the end," he said, "it's a great way to end."

Flames coach Bob Hartley was delighted for his goaltender.

"It was a well-deserved reward for him to get the final start of our season, especially in front of his old team and old fans," Hartley said. "And what a game ... In the first period he came up with some huge saves. The Wild were playing real well in the first period, and he was the only guy who kept us in the game. He was sensational."

Video: CGY@MIN: Bollig rifles it past Keumpre to it in 3rd

Zac Dalpe scored Minnesota's goal midway through the second period. Dubnyk made six saves in 30:06 before being relieved by Kuemper, who finished with 17 saves.

Dalpe's backhand shot slipped through Backstrom at 13:00 of the second period for a 1-0 Wild lead. It was Dalpe's first goal with the Wild and first NHL goal since April 1, 2015, when he played for the Buffalo Sabres.

"After that, I thought we started to play better," Hartley said.

Calgary turned the tables in the third period, outshooting the Wild 14-5 and tying the game on Bollig's snap shot from the left faceoff dot that beat Kuemper to the short side under the crossbar at 13:35. It was his second goal.

On the next shift, Sieloff, making his NHL debut, backhanded the puck toward the net from the right half-wall. It took one long hop and slipped between Kuemper and the near post at 14:06.

Video: CGY@MIN: Backstrom makes great save off deflection

Sieloff, along with forward Turner Elson and defenseman Oliver Kylington, made their NHL debuts after being recalled from Stockton of the American Hockey League. Elson earned his first NHL point with an assist on Bollig's goal.

"You dream as a boy to play in the NHL and here they are," Hartley said. "[Sieloff] is not known to be an offensive guy and gets his first goal, game-winner. It doesn't get better than this."

Calgary (35-40-7) finished the regular season by winning its last two games.

Video: Flames score two in the 3rd to beat the Wild 2-1

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