The comeback kids from Calgary have done it again.
The Flames were 20 seconds away from going down 3-0 in their second-round series to the Anaheim Ducks. They had what appeared to be the tying goal disallowed due to inconclusive evidence minutes earlier in the third period.
But third period comebacks have become the Flames’ calling card this season. And they pulled off another in Game 3 against the Ducks on Tuesday, defeating the visitors 4-3 in overtime to get back in the series. Playing the role of massive underdog, the Flames are still behind 2-1 in the series, but they have a win, with another game on home ice to try and even things up.
Johnny Gaudreau buried a perfect shot on a five-on-three with 19 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime. In the extra period, Mikael Backlund won it with a delayed penalty coming to the Ducks.
Yet it looked at times like the Flames might be their own worst enemy.
They got off to a perfect start, with Brandon Bollig giving them the lead 2:07 into the first period. But the Ducks countered on goals from Patrick Maroon and Corey Perry to go ahead.
Flames’ forward Joe Colborne tied the game in the second period with his first career playoff goal — a beauty, short-handed — but Calgary wasn’t able to build momentum and the Ducks once again took the lead just over four minutes later.
And then there was the controversial no-goal call. Sam Bennett’s shot hit off the pad of Frederik Andersen right along the goal line, but a video review couldn’t find definitive evidence to deem it a goal.
There was enough working against the Flames. But, like they’ve done throughout this season, they came back to earn a huge victory.
Joe Colborne’s first career Stanley Cup playoff goal was a beauty, but unfortunately for him, the Calgary Flames failed to generate any real momentum from it.
During a Ducks power play, Colborne picked up a loose puck at the Calgary blue line, went in alone, faked backhand and slid the puck by Frederik Andersen with a slick move to the forehand, tying the game at 2-2 in the second period.
Just 4:03 later, Matt Beleskey restored the Anaheim lead. Similar story in the first period. Brandon Bollig scored for Calgary just 2:07 into the game. However, what was a perfect start on home ice for the Flames evaporated almost as quickly, with Patrick Maroon and Corey Perry scoring to give the Ducks the lead.
Calgary looks like it’s making an interesting lineup switch to open its series against Anaheim — Drew Shore, acquired from Florida in January, looks as though he’ll draw in tonight when the Flames take on the Ducks at Honda Center.
Shore, 24, would take the place of Mason Raymond.
The 44th overall pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Shore has appeared in 78 career NHL contests — 11 coming with the Flames this season — but zero in the Stanley Cup playoffs. It looks as though he’ll make his postseason debut on Calgary’s fourth line alongside Brandon Bollig and Josh Jooris, which is an interesting development as Flames head coach Bob Hartley opted not to dress Shore in any of the six opening-round games against Vancouver.
That said, it’s not surprising the team was looking to change things up from Raymond. The veteran winger hasn’t done much this postseason, with just one point in four games; in the series-clinching Game 6 win over Vancouver, Raymond received just 5:39 of ice time and finished minus-1.