SUN Hockey Pool

Flames squeak one out

Flames' David Moss (2nd R) celebrates scoring the game-winning goal in the third period with...

Flames' David Moss (2nd R) celebrates scoring the game-winning goal in the third period with teammate Cory Sarich during their game in Denver on Tuesday. (REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

DENVER — Seemed like the same old Flames.

An inconsistent effort led to a turning point in the third period as the opposition took the lead.

But this time, instead of folding, the Flames fought back.

They didn’t let Colorado Avalanche sniper Chris Stewart’s early third-period powerplay goal destroy their confidence. They didn’t give up.

Instead, they turned up the heat — especially the trio of Mikael Backlund, David Moss and Niklas Hagman.

Backlund tied things at 2-2, and Moss’ first of the season proved to be the game-winner as the Flames exploded for three third-period goals to eke out a 4-2 decision at the Pepsi Center Tuesday night to snap a four-game losing skid.

Relief was all around in the locker-room afterwards.

For Moss, it was partially because they finally won, partially due to his first goal and partially because he made amends for a mistake he felt could have cost them the game.

“Their second goal was my fault,” Moss said. “I didn’t get the puck out on the penalty kill. To come back and get the game-winner, it’s nice.”

The play wasn’t pretty. Hagman took the puck to the net and Moss banged home a loose puck. But when you’re mired in a long losing streak, you’ll take goals however you can get them.

“I don’t think it mattered how we did it. We needed a win,” said defenceman Jay Bouwmeester, who earned an assist on the Flames’ first goal early in the second period as Curtis Glencross deflected his point shot into the cage to tie things at 1-1.

“And we need to keep winning.”

Glencross also scored into an empty net to complete a two-goal game after sitting out the last one in Minnesota because of a lower-body ailment.

“That was a big shift. He had a great game tonight,” Rene Bourque said of Glencross’ effort. “We got things turned around. Glennie was flying out there tonight and he’s very effective when he’s winning battles down below the circles in their end and forechecking.”

One of those battles set Bourque up for a prime scoring chance in the first period, but the big winger rang his shot off the post.

However, the spark was there and the re-worked third-line trio came through with two huge goals in less than seven minutes to give the Flames their first lead — one they wouldn’t relinquish, thanks to some more strong stops from goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff in the final minutes.

“It was a gutsy effort. We stayed with it,” said head coach Brent Sutter. “I really thought Backlund and Hags and Mosser really stepped up and obviously got a couple of huge goals for us.”

Backlund evened things up at 9:03 into the third when he zipped a rebound off a Hagman drive past Peter Budaj.Moss made it 3-2 with 4:15 left in regulation before Glencross put home an empty netter.

“There’s nothing like winning,” said Moss.

twitter.com/MacfarlaneSteve


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