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Flames keeping emotions in check after Game 3 win

by Aaron Vickers /

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames have preached the value of being even-keel throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Flames didn't get too low after falling behind 2-0 in the Western Conference Second Round against the Anaheim Ducks. They aren't about to get too high after a come-from-behind 4-3 overtime win in Game 3 at Scotiabank Saddledome that cut Anaheim's lead in the best-of-7 series to 2-1.

"We've got to try and stay even," said forward Mikael Backlund, whose goal 4:24 into overtime gave the Flames their first win of the series. "That's what we've been doing this whole playoffs stretch. Obviously, we feel really good about ourselves after that comeback win. We've got to bring the positivity with us. When the game starts on Friday, it's a 0-0 game and a new game. We will bring some energy with us from last game, but you've got to try and stay even and move on to the next game."

It might be tough given the way the Flames were able to hand the Ducks their first loss of the playoffs. Trailing 3-2 after two periods, rookie forward Sam Bennett appeared to tie it with six minutes remaining in the third period, but video review was inconclusive in determining whether Bennett's wraparound completely crossed the goal line.

Instead of folding, Calgary earned its third Stanley Cup Playoff victory when trailing after two periods courtesy of Johnny Gaudreau, who snapped a shot over the shoulder of Anaheim goaltender Frederik Andersen with 19.5 seconds left to force overtime, and Backlund's overtime winner, his first NHL playoff goal.

But the Flames aren't planning to revel in victory.

Instead, forward Mason Raymond suggested Calgary is looking to quickly reset for Game 4 on Friday at Scotiabank Saddledome (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

"Everybody is trying to reset after every game," Raymond said. "After you win, you try to take that with you, but at the same time, we know they are going to come out hard again, so it's going to be a battle. I think it's more in games that there is momentum swings. Obviously we feel a lot better being 2-1 rather than 3-0."

Another mantra has helped swing the series: Calgary's never-say-die attitude.

"It's the nature of our group," coach Bob Hartley said. "I've always told my bosses 'Go and get us some good people' and our job as coaches is to make them a good team. Good people believe. The easiest thing to say in life is 'We believe,' but then you have to bring it on the ice. You have to show it."

The Flames have bought in and have helped prolong a season that was flickering in the late stages of Game 3. Still, they recognize the uphill battle that remains. They just aren't going to get too high or too low in fighting it.

"We're down 2-1 right now," forward Joe Colborne said. "We have to take care of ourselves at home here and then we have a tough task of figuring out how to solve them at home. We can't even start looking at that until we at least tie it up here next game. We know that they're going to have a huge effort coming out knowing that was a tough loss for them. They gave us some hope.

"Now it's going to be a real battle for Game 4."

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