The Calgary Flames looked like a team in a playoff race at least in the third period and overtime.
Valeri Bure capped a Calgary comeback by scoring his second goal of the game with 1:29 left in overtime to give the Flames a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over the Washington Capitals on Saturday night.
"That was one of the biggest goals I ever scored," Bure said. "I saw a little space, a little room on the short side and I tried to put it there."
Washington held an early 2-0 lead and then had a 4-2 advantage with under two minutes left in the third period. However, Bure scored with 1:30 left and Jeff Shantz tied it by scoring with 31.8 seconds left. Bure then beat Washington goalie Rick Tabaracci for the game-winner in overtime.
"We never quit playing," Bure said. "Finally a bounce is going our way. Today is a perfect example."
Calgary coach Brian Sutter said it was the type of victory that can help inspire the Flames in their fight for the Western Conference's final playoff spot.
Sutter also said that getting help from different places showed how much balance the team has, something he enjoyed seeing after last month's trade of top scorer Theo Fleury.
"The neat thing about it is you can't rely on one or two guys, and we didn't rely on one or two guys," Sutter said. "I was excited for the players. ... because it shows that the things we talk about, they stay with."
Tabaracci could only shake his head.
"It's a funny game," he said. "They got a little momentum, a couple of good bounces. All you can do is you come in and play again Monday."
Former Capitals defenseman Phil Housley made his return to Washington memorable with three assists, including one on the Shantz goal. Housley, voted the gam's No. 1 star, moved past Joe Mullen as the all-time United States points leader in the NHL with 1,066. Mullen had 1,063.
The Flames' offense had no punch early, spending most of the opening period simply trying to get the puck away from the forechecking Capitals.
Calgary didn't even get its first shot on goal until it trailed by two goals. Stillman fired one from center ice that Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig easily stopped with 3:45 left in the first period.
Craig Berube gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead 5:17 into the game by putting the rebound of a shot by Kelly Miller past Calgary goalie Fred Brathwaite.
Washington extended the lead to 2-0 at 7:53 when James Black got the puck near the right boards, skated into the circle and fired a slap shot past Brathwaite. Calgary's Hnat Domenichelli cut the lead to 2-1 with his power-play goal 1:42 into the second period.
Housley got an assist on the goal. He's now scored a point on 19 of the Flames' 40 power-play goals. Housley then assisted on Rene Corbet's game-tying goal 6:39 into the period. Racing down the left wing, Corbet put a high shot past Kolzig.
Washington coach Ron Wilson then replaced Kolzig with Tabaracci, who hadn't played since entering in relief of the Capitals' loss at Pittsburgh on Feb. 15. Tabaracci then blanked Calgary until Bure's goal with 1:30 remaining.
The Capitals appeared in command before Bure's goal as Adam Oates and Brendan Witt had scored third-period goals for the 4-2 lead.
"We didn't play with poise tonight," Washington coach Ron Wilson said. "Some guys let down in the end. They're a team that's not going to give up."
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