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Minnesota Wild rallies before falling in overtime to the Flames

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The Minnesota Wild found their legs in the third period and forced overtime late in the third period, but fell to the Calgary Flames 4-3 Saturday at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Mikael Backlund knocked a rebound out the air and into the net for the game-winner two minutes and 25 seconds into overtime. Keith Ballard and Jason Pominville just watched Backlund set up the play and skate toward the net with no between him and the goal. Darcy Kuemper stopped Sean Monahan’s shot off a pass, but Ballard did not get to Backlund in time to stop the goal.

Backlund gave the Flames a two-goal lead one minute into the third period off a shorthanded rush. Backlund was the beneficiary of a wide open net after Kuemper tried to clear the puck from the crease while sliding out of position.

Kuemper’s tough night started much earlier. He had his skates taken out from underneath him as Dennis Wideman re-directed a Chris Butler shot over him for the Flames’ second goal of the game.

The Wild started their rally just after the midway point of the third period when Dany Heatley lifted a rebound over the pad of Reto Berra while on the power play. Heatley initially tried to get a pass to Mikael Granlund at the top of the crease, but the puck found its way through traffic and Berra back to Heatley.

Ballard tied the game with four minutes and five seconds remaining in the third period with a shot off a pass from Kyle Brodziak. Ballard got his shot through Berra after the goaltender was trying to get back into position.

The Flames (20-27-7) outplayed the Wild for most of the game and were rewarded with the victory.

T.J. Galiardi got the scoring started at the 12:36 mark of the first period with a backhand that beat Kuemper to the far side. Jonas Brodin poked the puck away from Galiardi at the top of the circles, but did not stay with him and allowed him to get to the net untouched.

Matt Cooke got the Wild on the board with a rocket slap shot off a short-handed rush. Cooke beat Berra cleanly over his glove shoulder after the Flames turned the puck over just outside the Wild’s end.

The Wild (29-21-6) turned what started as a promising four-game road trip into disappointment. When the trip started the Wild would probably have taken a 1-1-2 record against three of the top teams in the league at home. However, an overtime loss to the Flames - a team that is tied for the third worst record in the league, marred a good win to start the trip.

The Wild return to action Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Xcel Energy Center.

Three Stars

No. 3 - T.J. Galiardi. The Flames forward recorded a goal and an assist.

No. 2 - Dany Heatley. The Wild forward recorded a goal and an assist.

No. 1 - Mikael Backlund. The Flames forward scored two goals.


Minnesota……0 1 2 0 - 3

Calgary……….1 1 1 1 - 4

First Period - 1, Calgary, Galiardi 2 (Westgarth, Butler), 12:28. Penalties - Cooke, MIN (interference), 9:47; Butler, CGY (roughing), 9:47; Brodie, CGY (slashing), 13:51; Coyle, MIN (interference), 19:24.

Second Period - 2, Minnesota, Cooke 8 (unassisted), 14:03 (sh). 3, Calgary, Wideman 3 (Butler, Galiardi), 18:24. Penalties - Stempniak, CGY (roughing), 2:32; Rupp, MIN (tripping), 5:26; Coyle, MIN (delay of game), 13:24; Parise, MIN (slashing), 16:17.

Third Period - 4, Calgary, Backlund 12 (Giordano, Stempniak), 1:00 (sh). 5, Minnesota, Heatley 10 (Granlund, Parise), 10:31 (pp). 6, Minnesota, Ballard 2 (Brodziak, Heatley), 15:55. Penalties - Bouma, CGY (holding), :19; Colborne, CGY (holdlng), 10:14.

Overtime - 7, Calgary, Backlund 13 (Monahan, Giordano), 2:25. Penalties - None.

Shots on goal - Minnesota 6-4-12-1 23. Calgary 7-18-4-3 32.

Goalies - Minnesota, Kuemper (28-32). Calgary, Ramo (6-6), Berra (14-17). Referees - Francis Charron, Tom Kowal. Linesmen - Don Henderson, Lonnie Cameron.


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