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Fleischmann scores winner as Panthers edge Flames 6-5

NHL.com @NHL

CALGARY - Thomas Fleischmann scored at 16:51 of the third period to lead the Florida Panthers to a wild 6-5 win over the Calgary Flames on Friday.

Fleischmann lifted a backhand over both Calgary defenceman Kris Russell and goalie Jonas Hiller for the game-winning goal just 45 seconds after Matt Stajan scored his second goal of the game for Calgary.

Fleischman, Jonathan Huberdeau, Brad Boyes and Sean Bergenheim all finished the game with a goal and an assist for the Panthers (19-11-9), who skated to a 3-1 road win over the Vancouver Canucks one night earlier. Jimmy Hayes and Brian Campbell also scored for Florida, while David Bolland had two assists.

Stajan and T.J. Brodie each scored twice for the Flames (21-18-3), who suffered their third straight loss to finish their six-game homestand with a 3-3-0 record. Mikael Backlund had a goal and an assist, while Lance Bouma chipped in with three assists.

Neither goaltender was especially sharp as Florida's Al Montoya stopped 29 of 35 shots. Hiller made 25 saves in a losing cause at the other end of the ice.

Stajan opened the scoring at 2:42 of the first when he pounced on a clearing attempt by rookie Florida defenceman Aaron Ekblad and one-timed a shot past a stunned Montoya for his first goal in 15 games. Even though he didn't get an assist, Bouma helped set up the goal with a big hit on Ekblad behind the Florida net to force the turnover.

The Panthers evened the score less than three minutes later when the combo of Boyes and Huberdeau took advantage of a blunder by Hiller behind the Calgary net. Hiller ventured behind his own net and attempted to play the puck to Calgary forward Mason Raymond, but Boyes intercepted the pass and quickly fed Huberdeau in front of the net for an easy goal.

Huberdeau then returned the favour at 13:12 of the opening period when he set up Boyes for a tip-in goal to the top corner behind Hiller to put the Panthers up 2-1.

The Flames pulled even with a power-play goal at 16:36 when Brodie's shot from the right boards somehow found its way into the net behind Montoya, who got a piece of it with his right pad.

The Flames nearly went up 3-2 with 51.9 seconds left in the first, but Ekblad went to his knees to block a backhand shot by Jiri Hudler with Montoya out of position.

Early in the second with the Flames on their third power-play of the game, Montoya stopped a slap shot from the point by Dennis Wideman before also turning aside the rebound attempt by Paul Byron.

Backlund then scored his second goal in as many games since missing 29 outings with an abdominal injury that required surgery. After his initial shot was blocked by Florida defenceman Dylan Olsen, Backlund picked up the bouncing puck in the slot and snapped a quick shot past Montoya at 2:27 of the second.

The Panthers pulled even once again just 19 seconds later when Bergenheim swatted his own rebound past Hiller.

Brodie, who had gone 16 games without scoring a goal, then put the Flames up 4-3 at 8:13 of the second when he took a pass from Bouma and blasted a point shot through Montoya's legs.

Hayes then took a pass from Jussi Jokinen and snapped a shot past Hiller from the high slot with 2:55 to play in the second to tie the score at 4-4.

The Panthers went ahead at 9:29 of the third on a disputed goal by Brian Campbell. Campbell's point shot appeared to deflect off Bergenheim's stick before hitting Hiller in the arm and bouncing into the net. Calgary coach Bob Hartley motioned from the bench that the goal should be disallowed due to a high stick, but the video replay was inconclusive.

Stajan then scored to tie the game once again at 5-5 when he drove hard to the net to swat a rebound past Montoya.

Boyes took a slashing penalty at 17:36 of the third to give Calgary its fifth power-play of the night, but the Flames were unable to capitalize.

Notes: Defenceman Ladislav Smid returned to Calgary's lineup after missing the past 10 games with a head injury. ??? As part of Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Night, the Flames wore camouflage jerseys during the pre-game skate. ????????? Prior to the game, the Flames and Panthers announced that they swapped minor-league centremen. The Flames sent Corban Knight, who was with the AHL's Adirondack Flames, to the Panthers in exchange for Drew Shore, who was with Florida's farm team, the San Antonio Rampage. ????????? The Flames also placed forward Brian McGrattan on waivers on Friday. McGrattan was a healthy scratch for 13 straight games and appeared in just eight outings with the Flames this season.

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