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game recap

Mikael Backlund scores twice in Flames win

Calgary defeats Panthers to open three-game homestand

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Mikael Backlund had two goals and an assist and Chad Johnson made 20 saves to help the Calgary Flames to a 5-2 win against the Florida Panthers at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.

Mark Giordano had a goal and two assists, and Kris Versteeg and Sean Monahan also scored for the Flames (24-20-3), who opened a three-game homestand by avoiding a three-game losing streak.

 

WATCH: All Panthers vs. Flames highlights

 

"On Saturday, we worked hard and didn't get the win (a 3-2 shootout loss at the Edmonton Oilers), but we carried it with us tonight and played a solid game," Backlund said. "It'll be huge for us continuing this week."

Video: FLA@CGY: Backlund buries two goals in 13 seconds

Vincent Trocheck scored two goals, and Roberto Luongo made 24 saves for the Panthers (20-18-8), who had won four straight on the road.

"I thought we came out strong in the first and then we let up," Trocheck said. "It seems to be a theme lately; every time we get up, we slack off and then it goes a little bit and then they start taking it to us."

Giordano tied the game 2-2 at 4:25 of the second period, and Backlund scored twice in a 13-second span to give Calgary a 4-2 lead.

Giordano's point shot bounced off Matthew Tkachuk and over Luongo, and Backlund tapped the puck over the goal line from the edge of the crease to put the Flames up 3-2 at 11:23. Backlund scored again at 11:36 on a setup by Tkachuk.

"That was probably a personal record I'm sure," Backlund said of his quick goals.

The line of Backlund, Tkachuk (two assists) and Michael Frolik (two assists) had seven points.

Video: FLA@CGY: Giordano buries PPG from the slot

"They've been one of the best lines in the League all year," Giordano said. "It's no secret anymore."

Freddie Hamilton scored at 17:10, but Panthers coach Tom Rowe successfully challenged Matt Stajan entered the zone offside. Rowe also successfully challenged an offside call on Lance Bouma's goal at 12:12 of the third period.

"That was the highlight of the night, [Panthers video coordinator] Tommy Cruz calling both challenges," Rowe said. "It gave us a chance. We got a little spark there, but we just didn't capitalize."

Monahan scored into an empty net with 2:08 remaining.

Trocheck gave Florida a 1-0 lead 3:46 into the game.

Versteeg tied the game at 6:39, but Trocheck scored again at 8:25 when he took a cross-ice pass from Jared McCann on a 3-on-1 and shot short side over Johnson's glove to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead.

Video: FLA@CGY: Versteeg nets a backhand through traffic

 

Goal of the game

Trocheck gained the Flames zone and sent a shot short side over Johnson's glove from 40 feet on Florida's second shot of the game. "He's a great hockey player and he's a competitor," Rowe said. "He's got a shot that is very deceiving and he blew it by their guy a couple of times early on."

Video: FLA@CGY: Trocheck beats Johnson up high with wrister

 

Save of the game

Luongo made a glove save on Frolik at 11:28 of the first period after a setup from below the goal line by Backlund with a delayed penalty against the Panthers and defenseman Aaron Ekblad playing without a stick.

Video: FLA@CGY: Luongo stones Frolik on a play in close

 

Highlight of the game

Tkachuk set up Backlund's second goal in 13 seconds when he faked circling behind the net and sent a backhand pass between his legs into the slot. "I wasn't really expecting him to be that wide open, but he was screaming for it so I knew if I just got it to him, he's going to put it in," Tkachuk said.

Video: FLA@CGY: Backlund nets his second goal in 13 seconds

 

Unsung performance of the game

Flames forward Troy Brouwer dove back to deflect a cross-slot pass away from McCann before crashing into the net with 5:43 remaining in the first period.

 

They said it

"I liked our resolve. We made a couple mistakes early that cost us some chances, but we stuck to our game and for the most part of the game we had the better looks, the better chances and we were carrying the play." -- Flames coach Glen Gulutzan

 

"We just didn't play a good game. Nothing really worked tonight. We played pretty good in the first period and after that they dominated us, deserved the two points, played a good game." -- Panthers coach Tom Rowe

 

Need to know

Trocheck, who was named to the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 10, has five goals and nine points during a season-high five-game point streak, and eight goals and 15 points in his past 11 games. … Panthers forward Greg McKegg returned to the lineup after missing four games because of an upper-body injury. … Flames forward Micheal Ferland missed a third straight game because of a lower-body injury.

 

Video: FLA@CGY: Trocheck buries his second from the circle

 

What's next

Panthers: At the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; SN1, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Flames: Host the Nashville Predators on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Flames roll behind four unanswered goals in 5-2 win

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