Flames @ Canes

Posted by Chip Alexander on January 13, 2014 

Mikael Backlund’s second-period power-play goal has given Calgary a 1-0 lead as the Flames have looked anything but like a team that has lost seven of their last eight games.

Backlund punched a loose puck past Canes goalie Anton Khudobin with 4:34 left in the second period after Jiri Hudler’s pass hit the skate of the Canes’ Radek Dvorak. The score came after Pat Dwyer was called for hooking with 5:15 left.

After a listless effort in the first period, the Canes put more pressure on the Flames and goalie Karri Ramo in the second. Tuomo Ruutu, Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty all had good scoring chances -- Tlusty missing an open net midway through the period.

The Flames had a 14-5 edge in shots in the first. They had an edge in effort. Had it not been for some strong work by Khudobin, it would not have been scoreless after the first.

Khudobin made a sharp stop on a shot by Paul Byron a minute and a half into the game, sticking out his left pad. He was tested on tips and pucks flying through the crease. Late in the period, he stopped heavy shots by Mark Giordano and Backlund.

The Canes had few good scoring chances in the first against Ramo. But Ramo did make a quick move and save on a rush into the zone that ended with Jeff Skinner passing to Ryan Murphy for the shot.

The Canes' Brett Bellemore nearly scored on a shot from the point, the puck trickling just wide of the post with 7:30 left in the period.

Both teams had power plays in the opening period but could not convert.

Ramo was the winner when the Flames topped the Canes 2-1 in overtime Dec. 12 in Calgary. Khudobin made his sixth straight start for the Canes.

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