CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Mikael Backlund didn’t need to see the biggest goal of his NHL career go in.
The crowd and the rest of the Calgary Flames told him he’d scored the winner.
Backlund scored on a delayed penalty call in overtime, lifting the late-charging Flames over the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 on Tuesday night.
“It was an amazing feeling. It’s hard to describe,” said Backlund. “I didn’t believe it went in at first, but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it’s just an unbelievable feeling.”
Johnny Gaudreau scored with 19.5 seconds left in the third period to tie the game for the Flames, who had an apparent goal disallowed minutes earlier.
Anaheim leads the second-round Western Conference series 2-1, with Game 4 on Friday night here.
On the delayed Ducks penalty and with Flames goaltender Karri Ramo pulled for an extra attacker, Backlund’s shot from the blue line through traffic beat Frederik Andersen at 4:24 of overtime.
“We’re still fighting an uphill battle,” said Joe Colborne. “The way we’ve been playing at home, the way we have the support of our fans right now, we’re feeling confident we can take care of business here and go try and figure things out in Anaheim. It’ll be a hungry hockey team here in a couple days.”
Colborne had a short-handed goal for Calgary, while Brandon Bollig also connected. But Sam Bennett’s shot, which seemed to barely sneak over the goal line, was disallowed in the third period after a video review.
The rookie’s shot from close range at 13:38 appeared from certain angles to slide under Andersen’s right pad and behind the goal line. But the NHL’s review headquarters ruled “no conclusive evidence” of a goal, bringing loud boos and protests from the fans.
Flames coach Bob Hartley screamed at the officials to look at the stop-action replay on Saddledome’s videoboard.
Patrick Maroon, Corey Perry and Matt Beleskey scored for the Ducks in their first loss in these playoffs after they swept Winnipeg. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf contributed a pair of assists and Andersen stopped 17 shots.
The Flames stayed unbeaten at home this postseason. Ramo made 18 saves and Gaudreau, a rookie of the year finalist, got Calgary’s first power-play goal of the series after going 0 for 11 to force overtime.
“That’s an all-world shot,” said Colborne. “There was probably three or four inches there and Johnny just picked it.”
The Ducks’ Beleskey scored his third in as many games in this series in the second period off a drop pass from Ryan Kesler for a 3-2 lead.
Colborne’s first goal of the postseason had tied it 2-2. Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm lost his footing and Colborne went in alone, beating Andersen by going backhand to forehand with a superb move.
Getzlaf, whose face adorns a banner hanging from the Saddledome rafters — he was a junior star with the Calgary Hitmen — was the difference for the Ducks in the first period. He muscled the puck away from Flames defenseman T.J. Brodie on Perry’s goal.
Getzlaf also set up Maroon’s goal with a finesse pass from beyond the faceoff circle to Maroon for the redirect.
“We’re playing a good team. There’s no doubt about that,” said Getzlaf. “They haven’t quit all year. We didn’t expect that.”
The Flames opened the scoring for the first time in the series with Bollig’s goal only 2:07 in. With Anaheim pinching along the boards, Bollig headed for open ice and scored off an odd-man rush with Mason Raymond.
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