By Aaron Francis
The Ducks headed to Calgary in search of revenge and two key points against the Flames. In their last meeting the Flames embarrassed the Ducks 8-3 in one of the Ducks worst games of the season. The Ducks were coming off another overtime loss and needed a win to gain ground in a tight Pacific Division. For the Ducks John Gibson was in goal and Chad Johnson started for the Flames.
The Ducks and Flames each had some chances this period but it would be Calgary who got on the board first. Early on in the period Rickard Rakell had a great chance as he received a pass from Corey Perry and rifled it off the goal post. Immediately following this play Johnny Gaudreau faked Gibson putting him out of position but Gaudreau couldn’t get the puck past the traffic around the crease. Sean Monahan would also be denied by a strong play by Gibson. Unfortunately Gibson would be beaten by Mikael Backlund after he split between the Ducks defense for a one-on-one chance he converted on, 1-0 Flames. Logan Shaw got a pass in close with Johnson and he just missed tucking in the tying goal. In his NHL debut Brandon Montour would take a hooking penalty late in the period that the Ducks were able to kill off. The third line had some great opportunities late, jumping in on rebounds left by Johnson to end the period. The shots after the first period were 13-7 Flames.
The Ducks would even up the score this period and the Flames would fall victim to penalties. To open the period Calgary came out strong, firing several good shots that Gibson was able to handle. The Flames momentum would be killed however by a tripping penalty taken by Mark Giordano. The Ducks second power play unit came up big as Kevin Bieksa took a hard shot at the goal that went off Corey Perry and right into Antoine Vermette who tied the game. Calgary would challenge the play for goalie interference by Perry but the call on the ice stood as goal, 1-1 tie. The Flames had a great chance after Josh Manson lost the puck and turned it over to Calgary but this play was broken up beautifully by Hampus Lindholm. Garnet Hathaway would be called for interference on Ryan Kesler and the Flames would go to the Penalty Kill. They killed off the penalty and Jakob Silfverberg would be called for hooking not long after. On the Flames Power Play Mark Giordano had a great chance alone with John Gibson and he hammered a shot that Gibson was able to save without a rebound. In the final two minutes Dennis Wideman was called for holding the stick and Anaheim went back to the Power Play. However, Ryan Getzlaf would turnover the puck in the neutral zone and sent the Flames on a 2-on-0. They would miss this chance and the remainder of the clock would bleed away. Shots after the second period were 21-17 Flames.
The Ducks would add two goals this period and hang on to get the win in Calgary. To start the period the Flames killed off the remainder of the penalty from the second period. Ryan Getzlaf would be called for hooking and sent the Flames to the Power Play. Johnny Gaudreau got a quick shot off a rebound at the net that Gibson was able to save. Mikael Backlund also had a chance on the Power Play that went off the post but the Ducks killed off the penalty. Tempers flared as Matt Stajan poked the puck loose from under Gibson and the Ducks goalie threw a blow in retaliation, everyone paired up. Ondrej Kase got in past the Flames defense and was stopped by a great save from Johnson. Jakob Silfverberg would get the go ahead goal as he sniped a puck past Johnson from the top of the circle, 2-1 Ducks. The Ducks would receive a minute long 5-on-3 power play as Micheal Ferland took a roughing penalty, and on the penalty kill Dennis Wideman flipped the puck over the glass leading to a delay of game penalty. The Flames killed off the first penalty but soon after the Ducks scored on the second chance. Rickard Rakell would chop in the puck off a rebound and put the Ducks up by two goals, 3-1 Ducks. Ondrej Kase would be called for a hooking penalty that the Ducks were able to kill. Mikael Backlund took a shot to the head of Nick Ritchie that sent the Flames to the penalty kill late. In the final 30 seconds both Alex Chiasson and Hampus Lindholm would be called for slashing and the Ducks would hold on to win. The final shot total was 32-25 Flames.
The Ducks were able to come back and beat the Flames after their terrible outing last time these two teams met. An important goal the Ducks had was to win the Special Teams battle. Anaheim accomplished this by scoring two power play goals and killing off all four power play attempts by the Flames.
Gibson came up big this game making key saves to hold on to the 3-1 lead late in the third. Kesler also added to this Ducks win, scoring two points and drawing several penalties that put the Ducks on the power play. Despite being out shot the Ducks got the best of their chances and played smart defensively in order to get the win in Calgary.
Jakob Silfverberg extends his goal streak to three games.
Brandon Montour made his NHL debut playing just under 18 minutes.
John Gibson made 31 saves on 32 shots and had a .969 save percentage.
The Ducks will close out December and the calendar year in Vancouver against the Canucks tonight at 7:00 pm PST.
Click below for highlights of the game.
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