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game recap

Mikael Backlund extends streak in Flames win

Forward scores in fifth straight game to help defeat Avalanche

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

CALGARY -- Mikael Backlund scored in his fifth straight game to help the Calgary Flames to a 4-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

Kris Versteeg, Alex Chiasson and Johnny Gaudreau also scored, and Brian Elliott made 17 saves for the Flames (21-17-2), who have won four of the past five games and 11 of the past 15. Elliott has won five straight starts.

"It's great," Backlund said. "It's always fun winning. It's the best part of this game. That's what we're here for, to win games. It makes life a lot easier if you're winning."


WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Flames highlights


Patrick Wiercioch scored and Calvin Pickard made 33 saves for the Avalanche (12-25-1), who have lost five straight games and 10 of the past 11. Colorado is last in the Western Conference with 25 points.

"We've been pressing and when you're pressing, you see a guy open and you kind of double clutch," Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla said. "You're just not letting it happen. It's a quick game, you've got to let it happen and play with confidence. We're battling that right now."

Versteeg gave the Flames a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 15:25 of the first period. Backlund also scored with the man-advantage to put Calgary up 2-0 with 2:40 remaining in the second. The goal was his 200th NHL point.

Pickard made the initial save on Mark Giordano's first shot, but Backlund scored on the rebound to extend his career-high goal streak. He has six goals and three assists during the stretch.

Video: COL@CGY: Backlund slams home rebound for PPG

"It's a nice milestone to hit," Backlund said. "Looking back when I was drafted you never knew if you'd get to play 400 games and score 200 points. I want to push to get better. I want to try and keep doing that."

Backlund is the first Flames player since Curtis Glencross to score in five consecutive games. Glencross scored in seven straight from Feb. 27-March 11, 2012. James Neal of the Nashville Predators has the NHL's longest streak this season at six games, from Nov. 5-17, 2016.

"This is the best I've seen him in his career," Giordano said. "That's saying a lot because he has been really good the last couple years. He's a two-way centerman who doesn't get the acknowledgement all the time because he doesn't have the high-end numbers offensively. This year things are going in for him."

Chiasson gave Calgary a 3-0 lead at 13:25 of the third after converting a setup by TJ Brodie. Gaudreau scored at 14:09 on a 5-on-3 power play.

Wiercioch scored with 1:25 remaining.

Video: COL@CGY: Wiercioch goes five-hole to beat Elliott

Goal of the game

A falling Brodie centered the puck in front to Chiasson, who lifted a shot by Pickard.

"I know for me, in tight, I'm going to try and get it up a little bit," Chiasson said. "Great play by [Brodie], I just raised it as quick as I can. It's definitely nice to get back on the scoreboard."

Video: COL@CGY: Chiasson finishes Brodie's nice falling dish

Saves of the game

Chiasson redirected a setup by Gaudreau in front, but Pickard got his pad across in time to make the initial save, and Chiasson's attempt on the rebound, 4:55 into the second period.

Video: COL@CGY: Pickard stands strong to deny multiple shots

Highlight of the game

After picking up a rebound, Gaudreau faked going behind the net, circled back out the short side and slid the puck by Pickard.

"He's too quick," Giordano said. "A small guy like him can fit back there behind the goalie. I thought he was going to the other side of the net as well. He's so quick. Good play by him."

Video: COL@CGY: Gaudreau sneaks puck past Pickard for PPG

Unsung performance of the game

Brodie had two assists in the third period and played a game-high 23:50. He also had two blocked shots and one takeaway.


They said it

"Our team game was really good tonight but I think our special teams, our power play, really pushed us over the top tonight. We generated a lot of chances. We had a lot of looks. We put three goals in the net. Anytime you get three on the power play…you're not going to lose many of those games unless it's a high-scoring game. I thought we did a really good job." -- Flames captain Mark Giordano


"It's something you keep working at, keep talking about it and you've got to get some good things going and work for those bounces, get some things going the right way so guys can feel better, because it's been a tough stretch and we know that. Nobody's happy with these outcomes." -- Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla


Need to know

Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk had an assist to extend his point streak to seven games (one goal, seven assists). … Elliott has started five of the past seven games after Chad Johnson had started 15 of the previous 17 for the Flames. … Tyson Barrie's five-game point streak ended.


What's next

Avalanche: Host the New York Islanders on Friday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV).

Flames: At the Vancouver Canucks on Friday (10 p.m. ET; SNP, SNW, NHL.TV)


Video: Backlund, Gaudreau power Flames past Avs, 4-1

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