PITTSBURGH - The Calgary Flames fought back from two one-goal deficits to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 at Consol Energy Center on Saturday.
After failing to score on a double-minor power play in the second period, the Flames took a lead four seconds after it expired. Forward Mikael Backlund redirected a shot from defenseman Dougie Hamilton past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury's blocker to put Calgary up 3-2 with 4:14 remaining in the period.
The Flames went on the lengthy power play after Penguins forward Tom Kuhnhackl was called for high-sticking defenseman Jakub Nakladal with 8:18 left in the second. Nakladal remained on the ice for several minutes covering his face before being helped to the locker room.
Calgary coach Bob Hartley said there was blood in Nakladal's eye, but wasn't any serious damage and he expects Nakladal to be available within a few days.
Video: CGY@PIT: Crosby gives the Penguins their second lead
Lance Bouma extended the lead to two goals after an attempted clear by Fleury landed on his stick, allowing him to flip a wrist shot over Fleury for his second goal of the season with 5:57 remaining in the third period to give the Flames a 4-2 lead.
"[The win] was huge," Bouma said. "Obviously, we know their situation. They're fighting for a playoff spot here and we're never quitting. So obviously, it was a big win for us and we did a great job sticking with it all night long. … I think everybody was contributing tonight. Everyone did a great job and it was a big win for us, for sure."
Calgary (27-34-4) ended a seven-game losing streak by denying Pittsburgh a fourth win in five games.
"We're trying to win each and every game we play," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We missed an opportunity today. I think if we're going to climb in the standing like we want to, we have to string some in a row. ... today was disappointing because I think our team is better than that."
Video: CGY@PIT: Giordano goes top shelf to light the lamp
Goalie Joni Ortio made 29 saves to earn his first win in 10 appearances this seasons (1-6-2). Ortio had not won since winning his first four starts last season, capped with a 2-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Jan. 19, 2015.
"It's big for me, but it's big for our team, too," Ortio said. "We've been playing well, but haven't been rewarded for that. I think every guy in this locker room is deserving of that 'W' … It shows the character we have in this room. The season hasn't been going the way we would have wanted it to, but guys are battling. You saw out there, that's a team effort. That's the definition of a team win."
After two goals were scored in the first 1:58 of the game, the first period featured little offensive production, resulting in an 8-6 Calgary lead in shots.
Pittsburgh (33-23-8) opened the scoring 30 seconds into the first when forward Patric Hornqvist tipped a pass back to Sidney Crosby from below the goal line. Crosby sent a shot off the end boards that bounced back off of Ortio's left leg before trickling through the crease and into the net.
Video: CGY@PIT: Crosby scores in the first minute
"It's a loss. It's not the way we wanted to play, obviously, but it's a loss," Crosby said. "We had an opportunity to get some points and get some momentum, especially after how we played in the Ranger game [a 4-1 win on Thursday]. That was a great game and we wanted to build off of that, but didn't do enough to earn a win today."
Flames forward Joe Colborne tied the game at 1-1 1:28 later when he used his skate to redirect a shot from Sam Bennett past Fleury. The goal was Colborne's career-high 11th of the season.
In the second period, Crosby tipped a slap shot from Hornqvist past Ortio at 5:24 for his 28th goal of the season and a 2-1 Penguins lead which was short-lived. Flames defenseman Mark Giordano sent a wrist shot over a sliding Trevor Daley and into the upper-right corner of the net 1:29 later for a 2-2 tie.
"It was a gutsy effort," Hartley said. "It hasn't been a very easy road trip for us. The boys had great jump. [Pittsburgh] is a hungry team trying to secure a spot in the playoffs. They scored right on the first shift. We never got rattled. We kept going. The four lines played very well. With the loss of Nakladal, we had to go down to five [defensemen] and Joni Ortio was very good in net for us. So, very good win."
Video: Ortio leads Flames to 4-2 road win against Penguins