Backlund goal lifts Flames over Red Wings

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[November 21, 2016]  DETROIT -- The Calgary Flames got off to a good start on their six-game road trip.

Mikael Backlund's goal in the third period broke a tie and gave the Calgary Flames a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night at Joe Louis Arena.

"This is huge, because we're looking at these six games almost like a playoff series," said Calgary defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who had three assists. "We know we have to pick up some wins on this trip, and this is a good start."

Garnet Hathaway got his first career goal and Matt Stajan also scored for Calgary (8-11-1). Chad Johnson stopped 21 shots.

"I thought this was a very even game, but we did a nice job of capitalizing on our chances," Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We didn't lose any momentum coming out of the Chicago game, where we played very well in a loss."

Tomas Tatar and Anthony Mantha scored for Detroit (8-10-1), which lost its fourth straight. Jimmy Howard made 23 saves.

"I think we gave them their chances. I think from the start, a few turnovers in our own end, all of a sudden they end up spending a minute, minute and a half in our end instead of making a simple play and move the play out to the neutral zone," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said.

Backlund broke a 2-2 tie with 7:46 left. He slammed Michael Frolik's pass from the left circle past Howard and into the open side of the net. It was Backlund's second goal.

"We better pick ourselves up and we better come to work tomorrow to get better," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "And we better put the work in that it takes to earn confidence come Wednesday (at the Buffalo Sabres). That's the bottom line. We better pick ourselves up in a hurry and focus on coming to win a hockey game on Wednesday."

Mantha tied the game 2-2 at 7:59 of the third period. He put a snap shot under the crossbar on the short side after bringing the puck from behind the net. It was Mantha's first goal of the season.

Stajan gave the Flames a 2-1 lead 2:31 into the third period with his first goal of the season. He tipped in Hamilton's slap shot from the right point.

Hathaway tied it 1-1 early in the second period. Hathaway, who was beside the net and battling with a Red Wings player, got the shaft of his stick on a high shot -- by Hamilton from the top of the right circle -- and deflected it into the empty side of the net.

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Detroit Red Wings left wing Thomas Vanek (62) shoots the puck against Calgary Flames goalie Chad Johnson (31) during the first period at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

"That's an amazing feeling. I saw Fer (Micheal Ferland) get the puck to Dougie, so I went to the net," Hathaway said. "It was an odd play, because Howard was still flailng around, so I wasn't sure if he had the puck or if it had gone it. I'll probably tell people that I sniped it -- that sounds a lot better. We've still got five more road games, so it is big to get this one and get some momentum."

Tatar gave Detroit a 1-0 lead 8:06 into the game. He blindly slid a puck toward the net from the high slot that beat Johnson. It was Tatar's third goal and only his second in 14 games.

Howard was forced to make a couple saves on in close scoring chances after Red Wings giveaways deep in their zone.

Red Wings defenseman Alexey Marchenko left the game with an upper-body injury after taking a hit from Ferland with a little less than 5:30 left in the second period.

Blashill said Marchenko will likely be out "a little while" and added there would be an update on Monday.

NOTES: Detroit LW Thomas Vanek returned after missing 11 games with a hip injury. The Red Wings were 3-7-1 without Vanek and averaged less than two goals per game. He had four goals and eight points in seven games before being injured. ... Calgary F Johnny Gaudreau missed his second game after suffering a broken finger from a slash from the Minnesota Wild's C Eric Staal. Gaudreau will miss six-to-eight-weeks. ... Red Wings C Darren Helm missed his second game after dislocating his shoulder. He will also be out six-to-eight weeks. ... Sunday night's game was the start of a six-game road trip for Calgary.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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