(photo: Dinur Blum)
The Anaheim Ducks hoped that tonight would be the night that things turned around after their last game. The Ducks suffered their third loss in a row in a 3-4 shootout against the Calgary Flames. Last year, the Ducks dominated the Flames at home 3-1 and were hoping to start adding road games to the list. This game was also highly anticipated with former Ducks’ star goalie Jonas Hiller facing his former team in red this time around.
First periods always set the tone for the entire night, especially if it starts out with a fight. Ducks’ big boy Tim Jackman started out his game with a penalty for fighting against Calgary’s big boy defenseman Deryk Engelland at just 3:06. The Ducks started out strong and ready to fight to start their winning streak again. Ducks’ defenseman Sami Vatanen scored at 15:54 to have the Flames trailing early into the game. Vatanen has scored two goals in the last seven games and is quickly rising to the plate as being one of the better defenders on the team. Hiller and Ducks’ goalie Frederik Andersen did not allow any other passes through to end the first 1-0.
The second period came around and both teams came back more fired up than the first. After having chance after chance to score but just not cutting it in his last game against the Florida Panthers, Ducks’ Matt Beleskey scored the second goal of the night on a power play. Beleskey has stepped him game up from only scoring only nine goals the entire season last year to a whopping eight goals just in this season’s first stretch. Hiller was determined to not let anymore goals pass as the game came to a trailing score of 2-0. Just like the Ducks, the Flames are known for their last minute comebacks lately so it was safe to say they were not out of the running yet.
Even though the Ducks had the Flames trailing behind them by the time the third period started, the game was not over with yet. Calgary is known as a team who comes back with magic during their third periods. They scored three goals in the third against Ottawa and ended up winning. That magic came back this period and they scored two more goals both by defenseman Dennis Wideman. The Flames were finally leading against the Ducks but not for long as the Ducks’ Kyle Palmieri scored a power play goal to tie the game. The Ducks led the game both periods but let the Flames in at the last minute. Both teams were tied 3-3 by end of regulation and headed right into overtime.
When overtime finally arrived, there was no just passing the puck back and forth anymore. At just 19 seconds left, Ducks’ Ryan Kesler suffered a cross checking penalty against TJ Brodie and that seemed to be the end of the game until Andersen would not let the only two shots from Calgary through. With overtime over, the teams would have to go through a shootout to see who would finally come out on top.
The shootout showed how high the nerves were for both teams. Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau started out and managed to get one past Andersen. Duck’s Kesler scored a goal on Hiller and Calgary’s Jiri Hudler‘s was saved. Top Ducks’ shooter Jakob Silfverberg missed while young Calgary center Sean Monahan scored. It was all down to Corey Perry against Hiller, who missed and the game ended in a a total turnaround loss for the Ducks 3-4.
The Ducks spent most of this game in the Calgary zone which gave them all the chances they needed to shoot and score but the Flames proved dominant in the end. Anaheim will be looking for redemption against Kesler’s old team, the Vancouver Canucks, on Thursday.