SPORTS

NHL playoffs: 5 stories from Tuesday night

05/06/2015 02:24 EDT | Updated 05/05/2016 05:59 EDT
The Calgary Flames appeared headed for a third straight loss to begin Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs until Johnny Gaudreau forced overtime and Mikael Backlund fired the winner early in the extra frame to beat Anaheim. Meanwhile, Chicago put Minnesota on the brink of elimination.

Here are five NHL playoff stories from Tuesday:

Worth the wait

For eight games and three periods in these Stanley Cup playoffs, Calgary Flames centre Mikael Backlund was snakebitten. Then, in overtime on Tuesday night, he took the bite out of the Anaheim Ducks with his first Stanley Cup playoff goal, a wrist shot from the middle of the ice that found its way through a maze of players and past goalie Frederik Andersen at 4:24 of extra time to cap the Flames' come-from-behind 4-3 victory. For Backlund, who entered the game leading Calgary with 26 shots this post-season, it was his first goal in 23 starts, dating back to March 30 at Dallas.

Gaudreau to the rescue

On a night rookie forward Sam Bennett had his three-year, entry-level contract kick in with the Flames by virtue of his playing a 10th NHL game, he almost got the chance to celebrate the milestone by forcing overtime. Instead, those in the NHL war room ruled no goal after video review. But all was not lost as Calgary eventually got the goal they were looking for when rookie Johnny Gaudreau scored with 20 seconds remaining in regulation.

Playoff firsts

Besides Backlund's game-winning goal, teammate Joe Colborne also notched his first NHL playoff goal, a pretty short-handed marker that tied the game 2-2 at 4:17 of the second period. With Calgary forward Matt Stajan serving a tripping penalty, Colborne jumped on a turnover by defenceman Hampus Lindholm near the Flames blue-line, went in alone on Frederik Andersen and went backhand-to-forehand, beating the Ducks goalie on Calgary's sixth shot of the game.

Slow start, strong finish

With 5:58 left in the second period and Anaheim leading 3-2, Sean Monahan recorded his first shot of the game. Actually it was the first shot for the Flames' top line of Johnny Gaudreau, Jiri Hudler and Monahan. From that point until the end of regulation, only Johnny "Hockey" registered a shot, but it was a big one that sent the game to overtime. By comparison, the Anaheim Ducks' top unit of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Maroon had combined for two goals, four points and seven shots.

Odds against Wild

When Patrick Kane beat Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk five-hole to give Chicago a 1-0 lead in the first period, the odds of pulling off a victory were already against the Wild. Minnesota was 21st in the 30-team NHL in the regular season with an 11-22-4 record when the opponent scored first. Kane's seventh goal in 14 playoff games against the Wild was the game's lone goal while Corey Crawford posted a 30-save shutout and is starting to resemble the goalie that led the Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup title in 2013. Trailing 3-0 in the series, Minnesota is facing long odds to stave off elimination.

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