CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Mikael Backlund scored for the fifth consecutive game, leading the Calgary Flames to a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 on Wednesday night.
Brian Elliott‘s bid for his first shutout of the season ended when Patrick Wiercioch scored with 1:25 left in the third period. Elliott finished with 17 saves to win his fifth straight start and improve to 8-9-1.
Calvin Pickard stopped 33 shots for the Avalanche, who have lost five straight and 10 of 11.
Backlund made it seven goals in his last five games with 2:40 left in the second period for a 2-0 lead. Giordano’s shot was stopped by Pickard but the rebound popped into the slot where Backlund buried his team-leading 12th of the season.
It is the longest goal streak for the Flames since Curtis Glencross scored in seven consecutive games from Feb. 27 to March 11, 2012.
Versteeg got the Flames on the scoreboard with 4:35 left in the first as his shot from the slot caromed in off Fedor Tyutin‘s skate 9 seconds into Calgary’s first power play.
Just 43 seconds after Chiasson made it 3-0 with 6:35 left in the third, Calgary made it three power play goals when Gaudreau faked out Pickard and stuffed the puck inside the goal post.
Calgary’s power play has been on a real roll the last five weeks. Ranked 30th in the NHL at the end of November at 10.1 percent (8 for 79), it has been the best in the NHL since that point, operating at 35.7 percent (20 for 56).
Colorado’s best spurt came midway through the second period while down 1-0 when they had a pair of 2-on-1s just minutes apart. But neither resulted in a shot. Mikael Grigorenko fired Joe Colborne‘s set-up wide on the first. Then, Mikko Rantanen fired a shot off the post after a nice pass from Nathan MacKinnon.
NOTES: Backlund’s goal was his 200th NHL point. … Backlund ties Dallas’ Patrick Eaves and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby for the second-longest goal-scoring streak this season. Nashville’s James Neal had a six-game run in November. … Freddie Hamilton drew into the Flames’ lineup for the first time since Dec. 2. … Since his opening-game hat trick, Avs forward Joe Colborne has gone 29 games without a goal.
Avalanche: Host the New York Islanders on Friday night to start a four-game homestand.
Flames: At Vancouver on Friday night to start a home-and-home set on consecutive nights.