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Flames rally, beat Blues in shootout

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- There's no quit in the Calgary Flames.

Mark Giordano scored with 4.2 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime and Joe Colborne scored the only goal of the shootout to lift the Flames to a 4-3 win against the St. Louis Blues at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday.

"We felt like our last three, four games we played really well and we haven't been getting the results," Giordano said. "Against one of the best teams in the league, to come back and win in that way, it leaves a good feeling here and it's going to be a nice Christmas break."

It was the Flames' League-leading 25th one-goal game. The victory snapped a four-game winless drought for Calgary while ending St. Louis' two-game winning streak.

"We've been in a lot of games and we're disappointed because we feel like our record should be a lot better than it is," Giordano said. "Tonight we found a way. That's what we have to do and hopefully the other side of Christmas we do that."

Colborne opened the shootout by faking a deke before throwing the puck between the legs of goaltender Jaroslav Halak in what would hold up as the only goal.

"I'm not sure if he was cheating on my move or if that's just the way he plays it," Colborne said. "I didn't do video on him before. Most times I just come down and read it."

Reto Berra, who made 32 saves through regulation and overtime, stopped all three Blues shooters. He's 3-for-3 in shootouts, allowing just four goals on 17 attempts.

"[It's] nothing special," Berra said of his shootout success. "I just trust my long legs and keep focus and try to stop the puck. That's all. After you win two, you have confidence and after three I still have confidence. I'll keep going."

The Blues led 3-1 with less than nine minutes left in regulation, but the Flames refused to roll over against one of the NHL's top teams.

After Mike Cammalleri scored with 8:55 remaining to make it 3-2, Giordano forced OT when he blew a power-play one-timer past Halak with Berra on the bench in favor of an extra attacker, giving Calgary a 6-on-4 skating advantage. The Flames' captain took a cross-ice pass from Jiri Hudler and blasted it past Halak.

"I saw Jiri," Giordano said. "He sort of bobbled it there for a second. I was just hoping he saw me because I saw the lane open right up. Everyone was sort of taking away Cammy and when I saw it coming over he laid it nice and flat for me. I obviously just tried to get a shot on net and it was a really great feeling seeing that one go in, for sure."

The goal came after Hudler set up Sean Monahan at the side of the net with Halak down, but the puck rolled off the rookie's stick when he went to put it into the virtually empty net.

For the Blues, who came to Calgary after steamrolling the Edmonton Oilers 6-0 on Saturday, the point they didn't get was painful.

"It's beyond disappointing," captain David Backes said. "They turned it up a notch in the third there and we kind of thought we could sit on our heels and [Halak] made tremendous saves for the first 55 minutes and we kind of hung him out to dry there and they capitalized. Now we've got a disappointing feeling, rather than a satisfied one, leaving here."

Though a problem with the ice delayed the start of the game, it didn't slow the Blues' power-play unit.

Eight seconds into Giordano's interference penalty, Brenden Morrow took a pass from Chris Stewart and fed a cross-crease backhand to Kevin Shattenkirk for a tap-in 7:23 into the game.

During the stoppage of play before Shattenkirk's fifth of the season, Calgary acknowledged defenseman Jay Bouwmeester's 279 games as a member of the Flames.

Hudler pulled the Flames during a power play midway through the second period. With Vladimir Tarasenko off for holding, Hudler took a cross-ice pass from Mikael Backlund and roofed it over Halak from below the faceoff dot to tie the game 1-1 at 12:06.

The goal came after Backlund's shorthanded breakaway attempt six minutes into the period was swatted away by Halak.

But goals by Jaden Schwartz and Magnus Paajarvi in a 44-second span put the Blues back on top.

Bouwmeester found Schwartz in the slot, and he skipped a shot past Berra's pad at 13:49 to restore the Blues' lead. Paajarvi made it 3-1 when he rushed Berra's clearing attempt, which was cut off by Adam Cracknell along the boards. Cracknell fed Maxim Lapierre for a quick shot that Berra stopped, but Paajarvi scooped up the rebound and buried his third of the season to give St. Louis a two-goal margin.

Cammalleri made it a one-goal game when he took a no-look, behind-the-back pass from Paul Byron behind the net and ripped it past Halak's blocker.

On his next shift, Cammalleri then set-up Mikael Backlund for a one-timer from 10 feet but was denied by Halak's quick pad.

Calgary forward Matt Stajan left the game with 59 seconds remaining in overtime after taking a knee from Backes, who received a kneeing minor on the play.

"You never want to see a guy go down like that," Colborne said. "That's tough to watch - a knee-on-knee hit like that. I'm not going to say too much more about it, but we'll see what happens. [Stajan] is such a big part of our team, so we're really hoping for the best."

Backes said there wasn't malicious intent behind the knee.

"There's a minute left in overtime and he's cutting across the blue line," Backes said. "I'd love to full body-check him and he kind of makes a slick move and I'm still going for the hit. I pray that he's OK. I know him personally and I hope that he's fine."

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