Backlund scores in OT as Flames beat Flyers 2-1
Mikael Backlund scored 35 seconds into overtime and also had an assist to give the Calgary Flames a 2-1 victory over the skidding Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
With the Flames breaking in on a 2-on-1, Johnny Gaudreau's shot was stopped by Michal Neuvirth. The rebound popped straight out, hit Backlund's leg as he skated toward the crease and went in.
Calgary improved to 3-0 in overtime, while Philadelphia fell to 1-3.
Josh Jooris also scored for Calgary (4-9-1). The Flames improved to 2-5 at home.
Michael Raffl scored his first of the season for Philadelphia (4-6-3). The Flyers are 0-3-1 on a five-game road trip that ends Saturday in Winnipeg.
In a matchup between struggling teams - the Flames with one win in their previous six games and the Flyers winless in five - both looked tentative all night in a sloppy affair. Neither side could generate any sustained pressure and there were numerous turnovers and bobbled passes.
It appeared Calgary was going to head to the second intermission with a lead for just the second time this season, but the Flyers tied it 1-all with 36 seconds left in the period.
Controlling the puck behind the Flames net, Claude Giroux centered a pass to Raffl, whose shot from 15 feet out fluttered past Karri Ramo, who only got a piece of it.
Dating back to last season, it was the first goal in 17 games for Raffl, who scored 21 in 2014-15 as an NHL sophomore.
It was a familiar storyline for Calgary, outscored 23-8 in the second period this season.
Opening the scoring for the eighth time, the Flames took a 1-0 lead less than 5 minutes into the game. After serving a minor, Jooris stepped out of the penalty box just in time to scoop up the puck at center ice and charge in on a breakaway.
Neuvirth stopped his initial shot and stopped Backlund on the rebound, but the Flyers' goalie couldn't control the puck and it squirted back out front, where Jooris whipped it in for his second of the season.
Making his third consecutive start, Ramo had 26 saves. He entered the game ranked second-to-last in the NHL in save percentage at .871. He improved to 2-4.
With Steve Mason feeling ill, Neuvirth made 28 saves in falling to 2-3.
NOTES: Philadelphia's healthy scratches were Sam Gagner and David Drewiske. ... Mason Raymond and Ladislav Smid did not dress for Calgary. ... Philadelphia's Sean Couturier (concussion) returned after missing six games. ... Jakub Voracek was held without a shot. Still without a goal on the season, he entered the night with 50 shots, which was fourth-most in the NHL.
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