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Panthers score last, win seesaw game against Flames

by Aaron Vickers /

CALGARY -- The Florida Panthers didn't paint a masterpiece in the second of back-to-back games, but they'll happily collect two points.

Six players scored for the Panthers, including a goal by Tomas Fleischmann with 3:09 remaining, in a 6-5 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Brad Boyes, Sean Bergenheim, Jimmy Hayes and Brian Campbell also scored for the Panthers, who defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 on Thursday to start a four-game trip through Western Canada.

"I had a tough night," Florida coach Gerald Gallant said. "It was long all night. It was frustrating all night. I thought we played pretty well overall for back-to-back games and putting all the pucks at the net, so I was satisfied for sure.

"Exciting games, but coaches don't like them."

Florida (19-11-9), which was without forward Aleksander Barkov and defenseman Dmitry Kulikov because of the flu, will head north to play the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday before ending the trip at the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

Matt Stajan and TJ Brodie each scored twice, and Mikael Backlund had one for the Flames, who have lost three straight following a four-game winning streak.

Calgary (21-18-3) plays at the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.

"Pond hockey is what I really want to call it," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "It seemed that the last shot would win the game. It was one of those crazy games where both teams, defensively, were not very good. They ended up getting the last best chance, and they got the game.

"It was a game that was right there for us, we refused to take it."

Fleischmann scored the game-winner off a crease scramble, lifting a backhand over defenseman Kris Russell, who leads the NHL with 128 blocked shots, and goaltender Jonas Hiller.

"I went to the net and saw the rebound," Fleischmann said. "Hopefully it comes to me, and [it] went to my backhand side, so I just pulled it to the side and tried to shoot it high. I don't know where it went because I lost it behind Russell and then I saw the light behind the net so I was happy.

"I'm really happy that we won the game. We deserved it, I think. It should've been 5-1."

With Boyes in the penalty box for slashing and Calgary's net empty, the Flames came close to tying the game. Joe Colborne nearly banked a backhand off the back of Panthers goalie Al Montoya but the puck lay in the crease untouched before play stopped.

Campbell put Florida ahead 5-4 at 9:29 of the third period.

After keeping a clearing attempt from Deryk Engelland onside, Campbell took a wrist shot that floated through a crowd before hitting Hiller high and trickling over the goal line. The goal was reviewed but allowed to stand after video was inconclusive in determining whether the puck deflected off Bergenheim's possible high stick.

Stajan tied it 5-5 with 3:54 left, chipping in off a scramble in front of Montoya.

"The less you have to think about it, the better," said Montoya, who made 25 saves. "Hats off to these guys tonight. They beared down for me, they came out here and got it done. Make one save and the guys did the rest."

Hiller finished with 29 saves on 35 shots.

"It seemed like somehow every puck found the back of the net at both ends," he said. "It's tough to win if you give up six goals. I thought that, especially in our zone, we weren't as solid as usual.

"You start overthinking things, you, as goalie, the guys in front of you. You're kind of second-guessing every decision and playing that way; it's tough, and more and more bounces are going to happen. It's definitely not an easy game, but we still have to find a way."

Stajan scored on Calgary's first shot 2:42 into the first period. With Lance Bouma pressuring, Panthers 18-year-old rookie defenseman Aaron Ekblad sent a blind pass into the slot that Stajan fired by a surprised Montoya.

Less than two minutes later, another turnover led to a tie game. Hiller, out of his crease to play the puck to Mason Raymond behind the net, whiffed on the pass. Boyes centered a feed to Huberdeau, who scored his seventh of the season at 4:28.

Huberdeau returned the favor at 13:12, sending a pass off the boards that Boyes redirected behind Hiller to put the Panthers up 2-1.

With Panthers forward Dylan Olsen serving a delay of game penalty, Brodie sent a seeing-eye wrist shot from the point that found its way under the right pad of Montoya to tie the game 2-2 with 3:24 remaining in the first. Brodie's goal, his first in 17 games, came on Calgary's third shot.

Backlund, with his second goal in as many games after missing 29 with an abdominal injury, and Bergenheim exchanged goals 19 seconds apart less than three minutes into the second period.

Brodie then scored with a point shot that squeaked between Montoya's legs to put Calgary up 4-3 at 8:13.

Florida tied it again on Hayes' wrist shot from the high slot that beat Hiller to his glove side with 2:55 left in the period.

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