Flames finally win in Atlanta

Brendan Morrison figured the Calgary Flames were due for a win in their former home city of Atlanta.

Flames 4 Thrashers 2

ATLANTA — Brendan Morrison figured the Calgary Flames were due for a win in their former home city of Atlanta.

Mikael Backlund scored with about six minutes remaining to give Calgary the lead as the Flames beat the Thrashers 4-2 on Thursday night for their first win in Atlanta.

Morrison, Mark Giordano and Curtis Glencross also scored as the Flames earned their sixth straight win, their longest streak in two years. Glencross scored an empty-net goal with six seconds remaining.

The Flames, who played in Atlanta as an expansion franchise from 1972 to ’80, won in Atlanta for the first time in seven games since leaving the South.

“It figured that the law of averages said we were due,” Morrison said.

Calgary was winless in six games in Atlanta since the Thrashers joined the league as an expansion team in 1999. The Flames’ only point in Atlanta before Thursday night was a 3-3 tie in 2001.

“I guess this was our lucky season,” Flames forward Alex Tanguay said.

Bryan Little and Anthony Stewart scored for the struggling Thrashers, who have lost nine of 11 but remained one point ahead of Carolina in the race for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Carolina lost to Toronto 3-0.

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 22 shots as the Flames moved into a three-way tie with Chicago and Los Angeles for the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Flames face Los Angeles on Saturday.

“We have to keep this going,” Giordano said. “There are some big conference games coming up. We’re finding ways to win close games. We’ve been a good team all year. We feel like we have a strong team. Now is the perfect time to move up in the standings.”

Backlund’s go-ahead goal came as he shot through a crowd of players in front of goaltender Ondrej Pavelec after the Thrashers were unable to clear the puck.

“We had the puck three times and threw it right to them,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said.

Niclas Bergfors was one of the Atlanta players who at least briefly controlled the puck before a turnover set up Backlund’s shot.

“I was trying to chip it out the middle,” Bergfors said. “I have to look up and make sure someone is there . . . A brutal play by me.”

The Thrashers have been outscored 15-5 in their past four games and have scored more than two goals only once in nine games.

“Earlier in the year we were winning those close games and finding a way to get that done and not we’re finding a way to make that key turnover,” Ramsay said. “But the effort was there. It was a much better effort.”

Pavelec, who stopped 20 shots, said the Thrashers “had no luck.”

“I don’t know what to say,” Pavelec said. “We played good. We should have won . . . They got two lucky goals.”

Calgary’s previous six-game winning streak was Oct. 21-Nov. 1, 2008.

Giordano scored immediately after a Flames’ power play for a 1-0 lead early in the first.

Atlanta opened the second on the attack, tying the game on Little’s goal and taking a 2-1 lead midway through the period when Stewart scored on a pass from Evander Kane on a 2-on-1 rush.

The Flames had a quick answer on Morrison’s goal less than a minute later for a 2-2 tie entering the final period.

NOTES — The Thrashers placed D Tobias Enstrom on injured reserve with a finger injury before the game . . . Flames LW Niklas Hagman was held out with an undisclosed injury . . . Play was stopped with 2:46 remaining in the second period after Atlanta D Freddy Meyer collapsed at centre ice and said after the game he momentarily lost consciousness. He skated off the ice and did not return.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Alberta vaccine rollout expanding to front-line health-care workers

More than 240,000 eligible health-care workers can begin booking vaccine appointments starting… Continue reading

File photo
The Red Deer Rebels will have three new assistant coaches when the WHL regular season starts on Friday. Brad Flynn (left), will be on the bench alongside fellow assistant Ryan Colville (right) head coach Brent Sutter (middle). (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Sutter steps down as Red Deer Rebels head coach

Red Deer Rebels Owner, GM and head coach Brent Sutter has stepped… Continue reading

Premier Jason Kenney announced $200 million more money that will benefit seniors living in continuing care on Wednesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program expanding

Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program will expand to as many as… Continue reading

Parents and students learned Tuesday what the coming school year will look like. It's pretty much back to business as usual, said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. School precautions include frequent cleaning, keeping students in the same groups where possible, planning the school day to allow for physical distancing and staying home when sick. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s largest school board says no to United Conservative draft school curriculum

CALGARY — Alberta’s largest school board says it will not use the… Continue reading

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan is among those who have signed an open letter criticizing the government’s return to stricter health measures. (Advocate file photo).
Updated: Kenney tells UCP caucus COVID-19 dissent OK, breaking health rules means expulsion

15 MLAs released letter on Wednesday critical of new health restrictions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau watches a speaker appear by videoconference during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday, April 9, 2021. Grassroots Liberals have overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution calling on the federal government to develop and implement a universal basic income — despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's apparent lack of enthusiasm for the idea. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau winds up Liberal convention with election campaign-style speech

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau wound up a three-day Liberal convention Saturday with… Continue reading

Team Canada skip Brendan Bottcher makes a shot against Italy at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, April 6, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Men’s world curling championship in Calgary in COVID limbo

CALGARY — The men’s world curling championship in Calgary remained suspended Saturday… Continue reading

Pipes intended for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline are shown in Gascoyne, N.D. on Wednesday April 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Non-profit Quebec law centre to aid environmental group targeted by Alberta oil firm

QUEBEC — The Quebec Environmental Law Centre is coming to the aid… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives cite empathy, relationships as ways to help expand their movement

OTTAWA — Conservatives should show empathy with Black residents who say they’ve… Continue reading

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. New Democrats are reconvening for the second day of a three-day policy convention as they look to push past the glitches of the virtual event's opening sessions and rally around keynote speaker John Horgan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
New Democrats reconvene as hiccups, frustrations plague national policy convention

OTTAWA — New Democrats reconvened Saturday for the second day of a… Continue reading

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statement with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his commitment to the Republican Party — and raise the possibility that someone else will be the GOP's next presidential nominee — in a closed-door speech to donors Saturday night, April 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Trump in 2024? He says only that ‘a Republican’ will win

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his… Continue reading

A cruise ship sits docked waiting for passengers to be evacuated in Kingstown, on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Friday, April 9, 2021 due to the eruption of La Soufriere volcano. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)
Ash-covered St. Vincent braces for more volcanic eruptions

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — People who ignored an initial warning to evacuate… Continue reading

Owner of 4 Point Taekwondo Kevin Mejia holds a board as organizer and martial artist Kevin Olsen breaks it in Edmonton on Friday, April 9, 2021. One hundred martial artists from around the world, will be breaking a board for an event called "Break for a Breakthrough." The idea is for martial artists to unite and re-engage with the arts because they may have drifted away or lost enthusiasm as a result of the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Break for a Breakthrough: Canadian hosts international martial arts demonstration

EDMONTON — Whether he’s breaking a wooden board, a clay tile, cement… Continue reading

Most Read