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Flames rally in third period, defeat Devils in shootout

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames aren’t too keen on losing streaks. They’re big on comebacks, though.

Jiri Hudler scored the shootout winner and Karri Ramo made 25 saves as the Flames rallied to defeat the New Jersey Devils 5-4 in a shootout at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.

The Flames, who lost 4-3 against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, improved to 8-0-1 when coming off a loss and improved their NHL-leading total for wins when trailing after two periods to five.

"I'll have to get my heart checked," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "I don't know how they do it, but we found a way again. We're not making it easy, but we're making it interesting."

Scott Clemmensen took the loss in his first start of the season. Cory Schneider had the night off for the first time this season after shutting out the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 on Friday, ending his franchise record of 20 straight starts to begin a season. Schneider had played all but 64 minutes prior to Clemmensen’s start.

"It’s definitely frustrating because you only get a limited number of opportunities," Clemmensen said. "I would’ve loved to walk out of here with the win regardless of how it happened. So be it. Can’t change the past now. Just move forward."

After Sean Monahan and former Flames forward Mike Cammalleri traded goals in the second round of the shootout, Hudler beat Clemmensen in the fourth with a wrist shot to the blocker side, and Ramo stopped Travis Zajac’s to secure the win for the Flames.

"We play to win a game," Ramo said. "We don't play to lose by one goal. We attack, we attack a lot, and we create a lot of scoring chances. Sometimes it comes and bites us, but that's what I've noticed and think it's the reason we find success when we're behind. We play on the edge all the time and keep pushing."

Trailing 3-1 with Michael Ryder in the penalty box for interference, Clemmensen stopped Kris Russell’s initial point shot after it was tipped by Michael Ferland in front, but Josh Jooris swatted in the rebound to make it 3-2.The assist was Ferland’s first NHL point.

In the third period, New Jersey forward Tuomo Ruutu failed to convert on a chance off the rush, but Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano plowed through Ramo on the backcheck, allowing Ruutu to slide the puck under the Flames goaltender to give the Devils a 4-2 edge at 10:26.

Clemmensen stopped Paul Byron’s one-timer from the slot with 5:46 remaining and two Giordano point shots with Calgary’s net empty for an extra attacker.

Clemmensen couldn’t stop Hudler, who corralled the rebound on Giordano’s second attempt and fluttered it over the goal line at 17:38.

With five seconds remaining in regulation, Curtis Glencross scored his second of the night to tie the game 4-4 to force overtime.

"That's a fun third period to play," Glencross said. "You don't want to be down a couple goals like that going into the third, but we did a great job in the third period. We got lots of shots, lots of traffic in front of the net and finally capitalized on our opportunities."

It was the first time the Flames scored twice with the goalie pulled in franchise history.

"It's a gut feeling," Hartley said. "You try to prepare your lines so you have eight forwards ready to go, and we knew which four [defensemen] we wanted to use, so you set it up. I had told [Ramo] at the TV timeout, when it gets to about three-and-a-half minutes, three minutes, I said 'we go.'"

Adam Henrique opened the scoring for the Devils on their first shot of the game 4:51 into the first period when he finished a reverse feed from Patrik Elias behind the net.

The lead was extended when Cammalleri took a blind backhanded pass from Jaromir Jagr and one-timed the backdoor feed behind Ramo for his eighth goal at 13:46.

Cammalleri spent two separate stints with the Flames (2008-09, 2011-14) and played 216 regular-season games, scoring 89 goals and 178 points.

"A couple times I let the emotions get the better of me out there. I probably should’ve been more disciplined," said Cammalleri, who received two minor penalties. "I think it was a real entertaining game. I had a lot of fun playing it. There was definitely no shortage of chirps from the other team. I was getting it left, right and center."

In his first start since April 1, 2014, Clemmensen had plenty of opportunities early to knock the rust off, making 12 first-period saves, including a sliding effort against Johnny Gaudreau after the Devils goaltender coughed up the puck on a clearing attempt with less than two minutes remaining.

Nearing the midway mark of the second period, a Lance Bouma feed to Glencross pinballed around the crease and Sean Monahan couldn’t shovel his attempt behind Clemmensen, either.

"They kept me in the game, that’s for sure," Clemmensen said. "I was obviously rusty. It probably made things a little more exciting than it needed to be, especially in the first period. Overall pretty comfortable. For me, it’s just that, being comfortable and having fun out there. I thought since they did have quite a number of shots it helped me out throughout the game."

Glencross made good on his second attempt. After picking off Travis Zajac’s clearing attempt in the slot, he fired a shot that floated by Clemmensen’s glove to cut New Jersey’s lead to 2-1 at 10:18.

The unassisted goal was Glencross’ first in eight games, his second in 18 games.

"It was rewarding to finally get a couple but at the end of the night, the biggest thing is we got another two points in here," Glencross said. "We needed to finish the homestand off strong, going on the road for the next three games, so it was a big win."

Zajac atoned for the miscue with 6.8 seconds remaining in the second. Henrique’s initial shot from the slot struck the crossbar, but Zajac sent the rebound across the goal line before Ramo had the chance to react to restore New Jersey’s two-goal edge.

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