The Calgary Flames scored with just 20 seconds left in regulation to force overtime in Game 3 of their series against the Anaheim Ducks, and Mikael Backlund scored on a delayed penalty in the extra session to give his team a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night.
The win leaves the Ducks up in the series by a two games to one margin, but the Flames will have a chance to tie things up when the teams re-convene for Game 4 on Friday night in Calgary.
The Flames needed to get off to a quick start in the game, and that’s exactly what they did as they scored less than two minutes into the contest. Mason Raymond made a smart play along the boards as he feathered a pass across the ice to Brandon Bollig, and he fired a shot past Frederik Andersen to give the Flames a 1-0 lead early on.
Undaunted, the Ducks had a great possession by their first line result in a goal that tied things up. Sami Vatanen made the play happen as he stopped a Kris Russell clearing attempt along the boards, and his pass went to Ryan Getzlaf. Getzlaf then ripped a pass across the ice to Patrick Maroon, and the forward buried it to tie things up at 1-1.
The Flames continued pushing hard as the period wore on, and they were rewarded with a 5-on-3 power play as a result. The Ducks made a couple of nice plays to kill the man-advantage off, and they scored a short time later to take a 2-1 lead. This time it was Simon Despres who made the play happen, as he put a pass out to the front of the net that ricocheted off of Corey Perry’s skate and into the back of the cage to give Anaheim the lead after 20 minutes of play.
The two teams traded power plays early in the second period, but ironically it was a Calgary short-handed goal that tied things up. Hampus Lindholm fell down as he handled the puck at the blue line, and Joe Colborne skated in with an easy breakaway. His double move completely fooled Andersen, and when he slid the puck across the goal line the Flames tied the game at 2-2.
About eight minutes into the period, the Ducks scored yet another goal to seize the lead. Karri Ramo made a huge save on Ryan Kesler to keep the game tied, but the center was undaunted as he worked hard to get the puck back and put a pass out to the front of the netmouth. Matt Beleskey picked up the loose puck and ripped home a wrist shot past the Calgary goaltender to make it a 3-2 game.
The end of the second period was short on scoring chances, but the Flames picked up two power plays early in the third period as they tried to tie things up on home ice. Unfortunately for them, the Ducks were the ones who got the best scoring chances of either man-advantage as Andrew Cogliano and Getzlaf each had opportunities, but Ramo was able to keep them both out of the net.
With about six and a half minutes to go, the Flames got a tremendous scoring chance as Sam Bennett fired a shot in on net, but it appeared that Andersen kicked it out before it crossed the goal line. After a video review, the officials ruled that there was no conclusive evidence that the puck went in, and the Ducks maintained their lead by the slimmest of margins.
In the game's closing minutes, Flames forward Matt Stajan was whistled for running into Andersen in the crease, but Simon Despres followed him into the box after a post-whistle fracas. Sami Vatanen complicated matters for the Ducks when he was sent to the penalty box for a delay of game infractions, and ultimately Johnny Gaudreau fired a shot in past Andersen with 20 seconds remaining to tie things up at 3-3.
Getzlaf and Perry each had chances to score early in the ensuing overtime period, but Ramo made a couple of big saves to keep things tied. A short time later, Granlund's shot from the point found its way through traffic and into the back of the Ducks' net, giving the Flames a much-needed win and snapping Anaheim's six-game winning streak.
The Ducks will try to start a new streak on Friday night when the teams meet again in Calgary for Game 4 of the series.