Sharangovich scores twice as Flames rally to beat Penguins 4-3

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CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Yegor Sharangovich scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal with 50 seconds left, and the Calgary Flames rallied from two goals down in the third period to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Saturday night.

“We beat ourselves. In a number of different ways,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “We had complete control of the game. Played a really good game up until that point and we just made some egregious mistakes and it’s hard to recover.”

Nazem Kadri and Blake Coleman also scored for Calgary, which has won a season-high five straight games. Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 shots and the Flames moved five points behind Los Angeles for the second Western Conference wild card.

“We’ve got a bunch of guys in here that refuse to go down (without) swinging and that’s a great mentality to have,” Kadri said. “Everybody understands we’re still in the hunt. We’re giving ourselves every opportunity possible. Even if there’s a sliver of hope, we’ll take that and we’ll run with it.”

Jonathan Gruden got his first NHL goal, and Lars Eller and Jeff Carter also scored for Pittsburgh. Tristan Jarry made 16 saves.

With Tampa Bay's win earlier in the night, the Penguins fell 10 points behind the Lightning for the second Eastern Conference wild card — though Pittsburgh has five games in hand.

“We have no choice — we have to keep fighting,” left wing Drew O’Connor said. “It’s a tough way to end that game. We know how important each game is, and we need a lot of them right now. To lose that one when we’re in control hurts a lot, but we have another one tomorrow we have to get ready for.”

Trailing 3-1 midway through the third and being outshot by a considerable margin, Calgary suddenly woke up with two goals 32 seconds apart to tie it.

Kadri picked up the puck inside his own blue line and slipped it through Noel Acciari's skates as he carried up ice, then made a slick move to dangle past Kris Letang before pulling the puck all the way across the crease and burying it on Jarry at 10:09.

“It’s a SportsCenter Top 10 goal and it’s something that electrified the building and the crowd," Coleman said. "That goal just blew the roof off.”

With the crowd still buzzing, Coleman tied it 3-all, one-timing Andrew Mangiapane’s centering pass for his team-leading 25th goal.

The go-ahead goal in the final minute came when Mikael Backlund stripped the puck from Letang along the sideboards and then dropped a pass to Sharangovich, who picked the top corner for his 23rd — one off his career high.

“(Sharangovich) was pressuring the one D and I was hoping he was going to give it to the other D and I just jumped him,” Backlund said. “I didn’t know who I actually passed it to, I just saw two red guys behind me and I dropped it and a very nice finish.”

Gruden got the Penguins on the scoreboard first as he chased down a puck near the corner and flung a shot from a sharp angle that squeaked inside the near post on Markstrom with 3:18 left in the first period. The first NHL goal for the 23-year-old Gruden came in his ninth career game — sixth this season. He was called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL on Friday.

Eller had a power-play goal with 34 seconds left in the first to make it 2-0.

Sharangovich got the Flames on the board at 3:37 of the second when he poked a loose puck past a flat-footed Letang and got in alone, whipping a low shot through Jarry’s pads.

Pittsburgh restored its two-goal cushion 2:51 into the third on Carter’s deflection of Ryan Graves’ point shot.

In a 50-minute ceremony before the game, the Flames retired goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff's No. 34 — the fourth number raised to the arena rafters alongside Lanny McDonald’s No. 9, Jarome Iginla’s No. 12, and Mike Vernon’s No. 30. In nine seasons with Calgary starting in 2003-04, Kiprusoff had a team-record 305 wins and 41 shutouts. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2005-06.

“Everybody’s really happy for Kipper and his family and it’s really cool to see how much support he received tonight and how much he meant to the city," Coleman said. "And to honor him with a win is special.”

UP NEXT

Penguins: At Edmonton on Sunday night to finish a four-game trip.

Flames: Host Seattle on Monday night to conclude a two-game homestand.

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AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL