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CALGARY, Alberta – Mikael Backlund scored in overtime after Detroit's Tomas Tatar tied it with 1.8 seconds left in the third period, and the Calgary Flames beat the Red Wings 3-2 on Friday night for their sixth straight win.
After Michael Frolik and Johnny Gaudreau nearly scored earlier in OT, Backlund blasted a shot past Petr Mrazek 3:56 into the extra session.
Kris Versteeg and Matthew Tkachuk also scored for Calgary, and Brian Elliott made 35 saves. The Flames are six points up on Los Angeles and seven points ahead of St. Louis for the first wild card in the Western Conference.
Darren Helm also scored for Detroit. The Red Wings opened the night 10 points out of a playoff spot and last in the Eastern Conference.
Tatar made it 2-2 with his goal late in the third after Detroit pulled Mrazek. Seconds after Elliott stopped Henrik Zetterberg from the slot, Tatar grabbed the puck near the faceoff circle and beat the goalie over his shoulder.
In overtime, Frolik's stick broke as he tried to one-time a pass from Backlund with an open net in front of him. Gaudreau lost control of the puck on a breakaway moments later after deking to lure Mrazek out of the net.
Elliott's resurgence continued. After a forgettable start to the season in which he lost his starting job for a while to Chad Johnson, the veteran has been much better lately, giving Calgary the caliber of goaltending it was expecting when it acquired him from St. Louis last June.
While starting 11 of the last 14 games, Elliott has gone 9-1-1 with a .925 save percentage.
Elliott was at his best in the second. The Red Wings entered the period down 2-1 but had a flurry of dangerous chances early on thanks to back-to-back power plays. However, despite outshooting Calgary 14-2 and dominating territorially, they could not get the tying goal.
The Flames gave up the first goal for the fifth game in a row. They fell behind 1-0 at 6:55 of the first when Helm beat Elliott on his glove side with a 40-foot wrist shot.
Versteeg's tying goal came less than two minutes later on the Flames' first man advantage. Sean Monahan won the faceoff and got his 100th career assist and 200th point.
Calgary took the lead at 13:07 after a giveaway by Niklas Kronwall in front of his own net. The veteran defenseman coughed up the puck to Tkachuk, who promptly deked Mrazek and slid in his 12th goal.
Mrazek had 28 stops.
NOTES: Calgary's scratches included Curtis Lazar, acquired from Ottawa at the trade deadline, and veteran D Dennis Wideman, who sat for the sixth game in a row. ... The Flames have won after giving up the first goal a league-high 17 times. ... Calgary improved to a league-best 25-0-1 when leading after two periods.
Red Wings: Play at Edmonton on Saturday night.
Flames: Host the New York Islanders on Saturday night.