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Flames rally to beat Ducks in OT in Game 3

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com

CALGARY -- Mikael Backlund couldn't have picked a better time to score his first Stanley Cup Playoff goal.

Backlund scored 4:24 into overtime to give the Calgary Flames a 4-3 victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday in Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round at Scotiabank Saddledome.

"That was something I've been dreaming of, something I've told myself before the third period I was going to do," Backlund said. "I've got to go in with that mindset if I want to play well. That's what I was just trying to tell myself.

"It was an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to jump or just skate and do a Theo Fleury. I don't think I'm the same caliber player he is so I couldn't do it."

During a lengthy delayed penalty call, the Flames controlled the puck before Backlund snapped a shot from the point that went through a screen and past Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen to give the Flames their first win of the series. Backlund was the extra attacker who jumped over the boards when goaltender Karri Ramo came to the bench.

"We usually go [Jiri Hudler] first and if he's on the ice, the next center," Backlund said. "[Joe Colborne] was hungry but we looked at each other and he gave me the nod and I jumped on. I just tried to be patient with the puck, not rush anything. We were trying to get something to open and nothing really opened so I figured I would take a step in the middle and punched it and I think it hit their d-man and went in.

"I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling."

The Ducks lead the best-of-7-series 2-1. Game 4 is Friday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports) in Calgary.

"We're playing a good team, there's no doubt about it," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "They haven't quit all year, and we didn't expect that. I didn't think we played our best game tonight. We made some errors that are uncharacteristic, but it's bound to happen. You're in the playoffs and it's going to happen throughout the run.

"We're going to go and just get away and have two good days of practice here and get ready for Game 4. We came here to at least steal one, and we've got a big task ahead of us now in Game 4."

Backlund's winner came after Ramo was tested early in overtime, denying Getzlaf and Corey Perry on back-to-back chances 23 seconds apart. He stopped Getzlaf's shot from the high slot, then turned aside Perry on the doorstep on the next rush.

Calgary forced overtime when Johnny Gaudreau scored from the lower left circle with 19.5 seconds remaining in regulation. Coincidental penalties to Calgary's Matt Stajan and Anaheim's Simon Despres, followed by a delay of game call to Anaheim's Sami Vatanen for flipping the puck over the glass and into the crowd, put Calgary up one skater. Ramo then went to the bench for an extra attacker, giving Calgary a 5-on-3 advantage, and Gaudreau tied it when he came off the half-wall and picked the top corner on the short side over Andersen's shoulder.

"It's exciting," Gaudreau said. "A lot of guys in this locker room played really hard tonight and I was just happy to help contribute a little bit, get the guys in overtime and [Backlund] got a huge goal there for us."

It was the first overtime playoff game for the Flames since April 16, 2009, and their first at home since April 22, 2007. The victory was the third for the Flames in this year's playoffs when trailing after two periods; they were third in the NHL with 10 such wins during the regular season.

After being outscored 9-1 in two losses at Anaheim, Calgary took its first lead of the series on Brandon Bollig's second goal of the playoffs 2:07 into the game. But Anaheim got even five minutes later. With the puck at the bottom of the circle, Getzlaf zipped a pass across the top of the crease that Patrick Maroon tapped past Ramo at 6:57 to tie the game.

Getzlaf also helped set up the go-ahead goal with 5:50 remaining in the first, knocking down Flames defenseman TJ Brodie in Calgary's end. That allowed Despres to circle behind the net and center a pass that bounced off the skate of Perry and across the goal line to put the Ducks ahead 2-1.

The goal gave Perry a League-leading 14 points this spring and moved him ahead of Teemu Selanne into second on Anaheim's all-time franchise playoff scoring list with 70 points. Getzlaf is tops with 86 points.

Calgary pulled even early in the second period. While killing a tripping penalty to Stajan, Colborne picked up a turnover by Hampus Lindholm at the Calgary blue line, went in alone on Andersen and pulled the puck backhand-to-forehand before pushing it past the goaltender's pad at 4:17 to tie the game 2-2. The goal came on Calgary's sixth shot of the game.

Anaheim needed a little more than four minutes to regain the lead. Jakub Silfverberg had his stick lifted on Ryan Kesler's centering pass from below the goal line, but Matt Beleskey, following up on the play, picked up the loose puck and fired a shot over Ramo's glove at 8:20 for a 3-2 lead.

Flames rookie Sam Bennett appeared to tie the game with 6:22 remaining in regulation when his wraparound went off Andersen's pad, but video review was inconclusive in determining whether the puck completely crossed the goal line.

"I thought it was," Bennett said when asked if he felt the puck had crossed the goal line. "I didn't really know during the play. I looked over at the TV screen and to me I thought it was in. I guess there wasn't enough evidence.

"You've just got to pretend it didn't happen and just push it aside and just keep battling. We knew one was going to come. We knew we were going to get our chances. Johnny made an unbelievable shot. The boys kept battling hard."

The Flames rebounded to force overtime with Gaudreau's goal.

"There was a lot of leaders stepped up on the bench after that goal didn't go in," Gaudreau said. "You could see some of younger guys, including myself, get a little down there. Some of the older guys who have been in a position like this before made sure we kept our heads up and kept battling through."

Calgary scratched left wing Micheal Ferland for a second straight game. He leads the Flames with 42 hits in the playoffs but hasn't dressed since sustaining an undisclosed injury in the first period of Game 1.

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