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Backlund nets game-winner as Flames top Thrashers

Feb 4, 2011 - 3:17 AM
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Mikael Backlund scored the game-winning goal late in the third period to lead Calgary to a 4-2 win over Atlanta at Philips Arena.

Mark Giordano tallied a goal and an assist while Brendan Morrison and Curtis Glencross also potted goals for the Flames, who extended their win streak to a season-high six games.

"We're playing well within our system," Calgary forward Alex Tanguay said. "We're being very aggressive on the puck, we play with a little bit more desperation than we did earlier in the season. Right now, it's all about points for us."

Miikka Kiprusoff turned aside 22 to shots to earn the win in the Flames first- ever win in Atlanta since the relocation of the franchise to Alberta. It was their first victory in Atlanta since an April, 1980 playoff victory over the New York Rangers.

Bryan Little and Anthony Stewart notched goals for the Thrashers, who have lost three in a row and six out of their last seven games.

Ondrej Pavelec stopped 20 shots in defeat for the hosts, who have mustered more than two goals just once in their last nine games.

"We didn't cash in our opportunities," said Atlanta head coach Craig Ramsay. "We keep allowing everyone to just stay close. Earlier in the year, we were winning those close games but now, we're finding a way to make that key turnover."

The Flames turned a failed clear into the go-ahead goal with 5:57 left in the game. Jarome Iginla passed from behind the net and after the puck bounced off a number of players, Backlund settled it enough to drive it past Pavelec from the slot.

Glencross wrapped up the win with an empty net goal in the final 10 seconds.

Calgary struck first, tallying just after a four-minute power play expired less than five minutes into the game when Robyn Regehr kept the puck in at the right point and fed cross ice to Giordano, who blistered a one-time slap shot past Pavelec.

The Thrashers tied the game 58 seconds into the middle period when Niclas Bergfors passed from behind the net to Little, who beat Kiprusoff to the short side from the right circle.

Atlanta took its first lead at 11:14 when Nik Antropov led a 2-on-1 down the left side and sent a slick pass to Stewart, who one-timed it past Kiprusoff.

However, the lead didn't last very long as Giordano sent a cross ice pass to the left door step from where Morrison tucked it home just 55 seconds later.

Game Notes

The Flames had been 0-5-1 in Atlanta...The win marked the first time the road team had won in 12 all-time meetings...Kiprusoff is 4-1-0 in five career games against the Thrashers...Calgary has recorded a point in 11 of its last 12 contests...Atlanta placed defense Tobias Enstrom on injured reserve, retroactive to January 22, before the game...The Thrashers also lost defenseman Freddy Meyer to an upper body injury in the second period...Pavelec faced the Flames for the first time in his career.