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Flames confident they'll close out Canucks in Game 6

by Aaron Vickers /

CALGARY -- After the Calgary Flames failed to close out the Vancouver Canucks in Game 5 of their Western Conference First Round series in Vancouver on Thursday, Mikael Backlund said there is "no way" the Flames will lose Game 6 at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Calgary forward didn't shy away from the comment Friday.

"I didn't guarantee anything," Backlund said. "All I said was that there's no way we're going to lose, and that's the mindset we need to have going into the game. There's no guarantees in life, so why would I guarantee something?"

The guarantee isn't there, but the confidence is.

Ahead 3-2 in the best-of-7 series and with an opportunity to clinch on home ice is a scenario the Flames are more than happy to be in heading into Game 6 on Saturday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"We're still up 3-2, and if somebody would have told me before the series if I would take it, I would take it any day," said goaltender Jonas Hiller, who has a 1.84 goals-against average and .948 save percentage in the series. "We still have home-ice advantage, but I think we still have to know that they're not just going to hand it to us; we're going to have to work hard for it. It's going to be a tough game again, but if we play the same way we did in the third and fourth game, we have a chance."

Its Game 1 victory in Vancouver gave Calgary home-ice advantage, and the Flames won Games 3 and 4 on home ice, outscoring the Canucks 7-3 in the process.

Their comfort at home, and being one win away from advancing to the second round to face the Anaheim Ducks, doesn't have the Flames feeling pressure.

Far from it.

"I don't think we have any pressure on us," Backlund said. "No one ever believed in us this year, and we're one game away from going to the next round and they are one game away from their season being done. If you want to put pressure on someone, I'd put it on them."

Not surprisingly, Vancouver feels the pressure heading in the opposite direction in advance of Game 6.

"You hope they are feeling some pressure," Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller said from Vancouver. "It's hard to close out a series. I've been in those situations, and you do let doubt get into your mind sometimes. Our job is to kind of keep reinforcing that and keep reminding them we are a good team and they are going to have to beat us."

The Flames are aware.

"It's the mindset you got to have," Backlund said. "It's not like Vancouver is coming in tomorrow thinking they're going to lose, and it's the same for us. Both teams are coming in tomorrow with the mindset they're going to win, and that's why we've been successful this year.

"Even though nobody really believed in us, we always believed in ourselves that we were capable of going into playoffs and making it. The day we made it, we were confident we could make some noise in the playoffs too."

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