Mikael Backlund scored the shootout winner in the seventh round to give the host Calgary Flames a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.
Backlund netted the difference-maker by electing to shoot from the slot as he came down the ice. He fired a top-corner shot past Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry.
Johnny Gaudreau previously scored for the Flames in the shootout, but Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang also scored in that same round of the skills contest to keep it running.
After Backlund’s goal, Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped Brock McGinn to seal the victory in his team’s first shootout of the season.
Milan Lucic scored in the second period for the Flames, who have won five of six games and claimed just their second extra-time victory against five defeats in clashes that went past regulation. Markstrom made 21 saves through overtime.
The red-hot Jake Guentzel collected a third-period goal for the Penguins, who have lost two in a row after a five-game winning streak. Jarry, who has surrendered only three goals in his past six games, stopped 31 shots in an excellent outing.
Both goalies delivered big-time saves all game, especially during the end-to-end, action-packed overtime that failed to resolve the outcome.
Lucic broke the scoreless deadlock with his sixth goal of the season and second in three games. His line had been hemmed in, but thanks to a breakout pass by Oliver Kylington, Lucic was sent down the ice and snapped a five-hole shot just before the midway point of the middle period.
It was the 18th time in 22 games this season the Flames have opened the scoring. They have a 13-2-3 record in those contests.
Minutes after Jarry made a sparkling save against Matthew Tkachuk when the Flames forward believed he had a rebound tally for an insurance goal, Guentzel extended his league-leading active point streak when he pulled the Penguins even with a power-play goal with 7:25 remaining in regulation.
Guentzel set up shop in the slot and neatly redirected Sidney Crosby’s shot-pass to net his team-leading ninth goal of the season.
Guentzel has scored six goals and added five assists in his 10-game run. Crosby, after struggling upon returning from offseason surgery and then a bout with COVID-19, has four points in his past two games — playing a part in every Penguins goal during that stretch.