By: Matthew Garcia
Tonight the Anaheim Ducks are in Calgary set to take on the Flames. Anaheim closes out a western Canada road trip that has seen them pick up a possible 3 of 4 points, and will be looking to pick up 2 more points tonight. Today Calgary announced they would be getting back their leading goal scorer from last year Johnny Gaudreau. He draws back into the lineup tonight after missing the last 10 games with a fractured finger. While Calgary is getting back Gaudreau, Anaheim will be without the services of their top goal Scorer Rickard Rakell as he is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Joseph Cramarossa will be replacing the injured Rakell in the lineup tonight, Cramarossa returns to the lineup after missing the last 8 games, 7 of which were due to a lower body injury. Tonight’s starting goaltenders are Jonathan Bernier for Anaheim and Chad Johnson for Calgary.
Calgary would open the scoring quickly in this game as the returning Gaudreau would pick up a pass from teammate Sam Bennett and fire a shot past Bernier, who had appeared to be in good position to stop the puck but would find a way behind him and into the net. Flames lead 1-0 just 2:09 into the opening frame. After the Calgary goal, Kevin Bieksa and Micheal Ferland would drop the gloves. Each would get their fair share of shots before Bieksa would lose balance and take Ferland down with him. Anaheim would get a great scoring opportunity as Ryan Getzlaf would find Corey Perry skating down into the slot before ripping a shot on net that would be stopped by Johnson. Anaheim would get their first power play of the game at the 7:28 mark of the first as Mikael Backlund would get the gate for Cross-Checking on Shea Theodore, Calgary would successfully kill off the penalty against Backlund. It wouldn’t take long for Calgary to get their first power play opportunity of the night as Ryan Kesler would get a slashing penalty 11:07 into the first period. Anaheim would be successful on the penalty kill and escape the chance unscathed as they had one of their best penalty killing specialists sitting in the box. The Ducks would receive their second power play opportunity of the night late in the first period as Bennett would sit for Holding against Sami Vatanen, Anaheim would not convert on the power play in the :46 they had before the period ended.
Anaheim would begin the second period with a 1:15 of power play time and a fresh sheet of ice. The Ducks would be unsuccessful on their second chance of the night and wouldn’t even be able to establish zone time against the Flames penalty killers. Anaheim would draw even just 2:50 into the frame as the forecheck would pay off as Kesler would locate the puck down in his feet in front of the net, spin, and fire it past Johnson. With the goal, Kesler tied Rakell for the team lead in goals with 10. Silfverberg and Cogliano would each receive an assist on the play. The Ducks would receive another prime scoring opportunity as a breakdown in Calgary’s defense would see Vermette and Vatanen in on a two-on-one break, but would fail as Vatanen would be unable to corral the puck. With the failed attempt it would send Calgary the other way with their own two-on-one break that would see Gaudreau take a couple of cracks on the net but Bernier would stand tall and stuff him on both attempts. Just over 10 minutes into the second Calgary would receive their second power play of the night as Ryan Garbutt would be on the receiving end of a slashing call. The Flames would make Anaheim pay for their mistake as Troy Brouwer would tip in a shot from Kris Versteeg to make it 2-1. Then 52 seconds later Alex Chiasson would follow-up a shot from Bennett and roof it on a sprawled out Bernier to make it 3-1. The Flames would not stop there as 35 seconds later Matt Stajan would tip a point shot from Dennis Wideman in past Bernier to give Calgary a 4-1 lead with 7:05 left in the second period. Anaheim would get into more penalty trouble late in the period as Hampus Lindholm would get a hooking call go against him, Anaheim came very close to killing off the penalty just before Bennett would tip-in a goal for his 1st of the night to make it 5-1. Calgary would continue to pour it on as Dougie Hamilton would rip a shot from the point off the crossbar and in to make it 6-1 with 2:28 remaining in the period. Calgary would take a 6-1 lead going into the third period.
The period would begin with Jonathan Bernier remaining in net and it wouldn’t take very long for the third period fireworks to start as Cramarossa would drop the gloves with Chiasson with Cramarossa getting the better of that scrap. Shortly after the fight, Garnet Hathaway would take a run at Lindholm in the neutral zone drawing the ire of Jared Boll who would find Engelland behind the net, run at him sparking a big scrum behind the Calgary net and a fight between Engelland and Boll. After things get settled down Sean Monahan would find the back of the net for his 1st of the game. Calgary would add salt to the wound as Giordano and Brouwer would play a give and go game on a 2-0 shorthanded breakaway to make it 8-1. With Anaheim still on the power play, Ryan Kesler would find a puck laying in the crease off a shot from Getzlaf that hit Perry up high before trickling behind Johnson for Kesler to poke in for his 2nd of the night and to make it 8-2. Then 20 seconds later Logan Shaw would shoot one on net that would squeak in between the goaltender and the post to get his first goal of the season as a Duck to make it 8-3.
With the final buzzer sounding, Anaheim will definitely want this to be a game to forget as it was their worst one of the year so far as they have allowed a season high 8 goals. Anaheim will look to bounce back on Wednesday as they are back home to take on the Carolina Hurricanes. It will be the 2nd and final meeting between the two teams as they first met back on November 10th in Carolina where Anaheim was victorious by a final score of 4-2. Anaheim collected a 3 of a possible 6 points during the road trip. Wednesday’s start time will be 7:30PM PT.
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