By Adam Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ANAHEIM – Two nights after taking a shootout loss to Vancouver in which the teams combined for 13 goals, the Ducks did what they do best to defeat the Calgary Flames.
Anaheim’s defense withstood a third-period flurry and locked down the Flames enough to help the Ducks hang on for a 3-2 victory and snap Calgary’s six-game winning streak. The Ducks, who have now won six of their last seven, also ensured the Flames didn’t get their first regular season win in Anaheim since January 2004.
"That’s more our type of game," Giguere said. "These are the types of games that we need to play consistently. It’s what it’s going to take for us to win until the end of the season."
|Pronger's second period goal put the Ducks on top, and he helped them hang on for the victory.
The Ducks clinged to a precarious one-goal lead for the final 18 minutes of the game, with support from Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who bounced back from a subpar night against Vancouver for a 34-save effort.
Calgary had climbed to within a goal when former Duck Todd Bertuzzi connected on a power play that carried over from a Corey Perry goalie interference penalty near the end of the second period. But that was as close as the Ducks would allow, as they improved their record to 7-5-1.
"We were up 3-0 and it seems that after that, we sat back on our heels and watched them play a little bit," Giguere said. "All around it was a good effort, but I think we need to get comfortable playing with that kind of lead."
Anaheim got goals near the beginning of the second period from Chris Pronger and Ryan Carter that held up to the final horn.
"Last game was a roller coaster ride, and that is definitely not the hockey that we want to play throughout the year." said Ryan Getzlaf, who had the first goal of the game. "Tonight was a good hard-fought battle. It’s nice to get that lead early and be able to maintain it."
The Ducks took their first lead less than two minutes after the opening puck drop, as Getzlaf potted his fourth goal of the season. Getzlaf fed Chris Kunitz in the slot and followed Kunitz’s shot by chipping the rebound over Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.
That 1-0 lead remained through the period, but the Ducks piled on in the opening two minutes of the second. Just seconds after a Wayne Primeau penalty expired for the Flames, Pronger whipped a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that darted inside the near post.
|Getzlaf had the game's first goal and extended his points streak to a season-high six games.
As fans were sitting back in their seats after celebrating that goal, Carter made them quickly rise again, as he batted in a loose puck just as he was passing by the net. Carter set up the play himself with a feed that sent Brian Sutherby on a breakaway, and when Sutherby’s breakaway shot was stopped, Carter swept it in the net.
Calgary got back into it halfway through the period, as former Ducks prospect Curtis Glencross picked up a bouncing puck after an Adrian Aucoin wrister, and spun around to fire the follow-up into the open net.
The Ducks appeared to jump to a three-goal lead near the end of the period, when Kunitz’s hard one-timer from the top of the circle eluded Kiprusoff. But officials quickly waved it off, saying that Corey Perry interfered with the goalie. Perry got the penalty and another two minutes for protesting the call.
That first penalty carried over into the third and the Flames took advantage. With the Ducks on the penalty kill, Bertuzzi took a pass in the high slot and slalomed between Scott Niedermayer and Francois Beauchemin before putting a slick one-on-one move on Giguere for the score.
Bertuzzi, who spent his only season with the Ducks last year, played his first game against Anaheim after signing with Calgary in the offseason. Relatively light boos could be heard from the just-short-of-a-sellout Honda Center crowd as Bertuzzi’s name was announced as the goal-scorer.
He nearly scored the tying goal minutes later, but Giguere made a lunging glove save that was emblematic of his solid night.
The Ducks played their second straight game without winger Brad May, recovering from a knee sprain, and also didn’t have winger George Parros, who suffered a minor eye injury Friday night. Defenseman Steve Montador spent some time on the fourth line as a forward.
The Ducks also lost Kent Huskins for some time when he slammed hard face-first into the boards in the first period and had to be helped off the ice. But Huskins returned in the second.
"These are games that your emotions are running, highs and lows, through the game," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "For us, the most important thing is we found a way to gut it out and we won the hockey game. We know that there is areas of improvement that are required for our group to continue to have success, but we’re going to take the two points."
The Ducks head up the freeway to L.A. to take on the Kings on Tuesday night, before playing their next six at Honda Center.
With tonight’s win, the Ducks extended their standings point streak to seven games (6-0-1), which is the longest current streak in the NHL.
After 16 goals in their first seven games (2.3 per game), the Ducks have scored 27 goals in their last six games (4.5 per game).
Tonight the Ducks snapped Calgary’s six-game winning streak, which was the NHL’s longest this season. Anaheim has had several other signature wins this season, including: defeating San Jose to hand them one of their two regulation losses (10-2-0), handing Detroit* one of only four total losses (7-2-2, Red Wings were also 5-0-0 on the road at the time) and beating Montreal for the Canadiens’ only regulation loss this season (8-1-1).
*Detroit’s contest vs. Vancouver tonight is not included in their record as the game is still in progress.
Tonight’s win marked the Ducks’ eighth consecutive home regular season victory versus the Flames dating back to Apr. 4, 2004. It is the second-longest home regular season winning streak versus one club in franchise history. The Ducks’ longest home winning streak versus one team is Phoenix at 10 games (Nov. 9, 2003 – Mar. 7, 2007).
Corey Perry has extended his career-high assist streak to seven games (3-11=14). He is one game shy of tying the franchise record eight-game assist streak held by Scott Niedermayer (Dec. 26, 2006 – Jan. 7, 2007). The point streak also matches his career-high (Jan. 7-20, 2008, 5-7=12).
With a goal and an assist tonight, Ryan Getzlaf extended his season-high point streak to six games (4-9=13).
Teemu Selanne has extended his point streak to six games (7-4=11) and has earned 5-3=8 points in the last three games (all PPG). With an assist tonight, he also moved into a share of 45th place on the NHL’s all-time points list (also Bobby Hull, 1170).
Chris Pronger has recorded goals in consecutive games and is riding a three-game point streak (2-4=6).
Chris Kunitz has earned 1-7=8 points in the last seven contests, including assists in two straight (0-3=3).
J.S. Giguere stopped 34-of-36 shots tonight for his fifth win in six games.
20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks survive some Calgary pressure, but hang on for the 3-2 victory.
19:59 - The Ducks clear it out of the zone all the way to the other end of the ice.
19:43 - Rob Niedermayer gets it to Moen on the wing, but his long backhander to the empty net hits the post.
19:20 - 16,000 hearts drop as the puck bounces in front of Giguere in the painted area, but the black jerseys sweep it out of there.
19:00 - Kipper heads to the bench for the extra skater.
18:40 - The puck goes into the Calgary bench with 1:20. Time to lock it down for the Ducks.
17:34 - Calgary continues to press and the Ducks dodge some bullets. Giguere stays strong. He's got 34 stops tonight.
16:35 - We go to the last TV timeout with 3:25 left and it's crunch time for the Anaheim Ducks. This is when good teams prove they're good teams.
16:00 - Calgary continues to put the pressure on and nearly gets the tying goal.
15:27 - Huge kill for Anaheim.
14:21 - Calgary takes timeout after the puck is frozen.
14:15 - Something has gotten into Robbie Niedermayer, as he skates circles around Michael Cammalleri on his way to the net, only to be denied by Kipper. Pahlsson follows up with a shot that's also saved. But the crowd is pleased by the effort.
13:27 - ANA Penalty - Francois Beauchemin, 2 min. tripping. And the Oscar goes to ... Jarome Iginla! Not what the Ducks needed right now.
12:33 - Getzlaf tries to sneak the puck through from behind the net, but Kipper is there. And Cory Sarich decided to give Getzlaf a shove, even though he's nowhere near the goalie. How 'bout a roughing call? No? Okay.
9:45 - Getzlaf gets on a breakaway and makes a slick move on Kipper, faking a shot from straightaway and then going to the backhand. But Kipper does a heck of a job to sprawl out and make the do-or-die save. Tough break for the Ducks.
8:47 - As Moen tries to crash the net on a Kipper stop, he trips over linemate Robbie Niedermayer and slams into the post. Not his finest moment.
The tennis balls are on the aisle tonight. I swear, just when you think you know someone.
So with heavy metal, what's with all the screaming? I've never quite gotten that. Why so angry? And do you see the irony in a man singing songs for a living and sounding so angry? I do.
7:39 - Calgary has just one minor this entire game. Just saying.
6:08 - Selanne, always the underrated passer, gives Marchant a nice headman feed, but Marchant's backhand on the run is pretty non-threatening.
5:29 - Bertuzzi whips a high wrister from the circle that Giguere lunges for and gloves. Thank goodness that one didn't go.
I really could have done without Bert scoring that goal. Maybe it's just me.
1:40 - CALGARY GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TODD BERTUZZI - Bertuzzi takes a pass in the high slot and skates between Francois Beauchemin and Scott Niedermayer before putting a move on Giguere that leaves him way out of position to defend the shot into the open net. There is a smattering of boos as the PA guy announces Bertuzzi on the goal. That answers that question. The goal thankfully comes exactly as Perry's first penalty expired, so the Flames don't get another power play, though there was some discussion of that between the referee and the Calgary bench. Either way, we've got ourselves a hockey game again. It's 3-2 Ducks.
0:00 - Here we go in the third.
20:00 - The Ducks head off the ice with chants of "Ref, you s---" coming from the stands. They get goals from Carter and Pronger and give one up to Glencross to take a 3-1 lead.
19:40 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry
, 2 min. goaltender interference and 2 min. unsportsmanlike conduct. Kunitz goes to a knee to rip a one-timer from the top of the circle and it ticks off Kiprusoff and spins into the net. But officials immediately wave it off because they determine that Perry ran into him just before the puck got there. A close call, but probably the right one. Doesn't mean Perry likes it, and he gets the added two minutes for his reaction.
18:02 - Great news. Kent Huskins is back on the ice after punching the board with his face in the first period. Apparently he's been back nearly the entire period and I didn't notice. I'm really good at this job.
Hottie Elisha Cuthbert, girlfriend of Flames d-man Dion Phaneuf is in the building, sitting about eight rows back in the corner near the Calgary net. There appears to be a very large dude sitting next to her, so I'll probably not go up and say hello.
15:33 - ANA Penalty - Bret Hedican, 2 min. hooking. Not the best call I've ever seen.
10:28 - CURTIS GLENCROSS - Just seconds after they win the faceoff, Calgary gets one back, as Adrian Aucoin takes a wrist shot from above the right circle that bounces off Giguere. Glencross jumps on the loose puck with his back to the net, turns and fires it into the open net. Glencross spent some time in the Anaheim organization in 2006-07, and had a goal in two games with the big club. It's 3-1 Ducks.
9:01 - Beauchemin gives the puck away, right to a hard-skating Iginla, who's on a breakaway. But Giguere is not fooled by his moves and takes the shot in the gut.
The Travel Alberta Trivia question at the break is: How many hat tricks does Teemu Selanne have as a Duck? The contestant yells out "12" almost before he's given the choices. And, he's right!
4:10 - Perry makes a nice feed to Kunitz, whose shot from the slot is saved, and Perry nearly follows it up, but hits the post with it.
2:08 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN CARTER - Carter feeds it ahead to Sutherby and he's behind the defense as he makes a move on Kiprusoff that is denied. But Carter pounced on the loose puck and bats it through just as he's gliding by the net. It's quickly 3-0 Ducks.
1:23 - ANAHEIM GOAL - CHRIS PRONGER - Just as the power play from the Primeau penalty expires, Pronger takes a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that eludes Kiprusoff's leg pad and sneaks inside the near post. It's 2-0 Anaheim
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - And it's a good one for Anaheim, as they lead 1-0 on a Getzlaf goal and Giguere stops all nine Calgary shots.
19:21 - CGY Penalty - Wayne Primeau, 2 min. holding. Primeau puts a little hug on Kunitz.
16:36 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry
, 2 min. tripping. Perry takes down Prust.
16:20 - The Ducks manage to survive a flurry in front of the net where Giguere can't smother the loose puck and seemingly all 10 skaters pile into the crease like circus clowns in a VW.
14:04 - Morrison gets into it with a couple of Flames after the whistle and then escalates into Ryan Carter
and Jim Vandermeer dropping the gloves behind the Calgary goal. Among the two of them, Vandermeer is the only one with his helmet still on. Carter lands a couple before being wrestled to the ice and into the back side of the net.
11:30 - Perry makes a pretty drag move to the top of the crease, but can't find the aim.
11:00 - Montador runs over Jim Vandermeer, then turns around and knocks Prust to the ground. Looks like he's doing the right things at forward.
9:51 - Giguere falls on his rear gloving a Flames slap shot. Jiggy's got something to prove tonight after an off night on Friday. He's solid so far, notably on that power play earlier.
Not great timing for the Ducks, who are already short on players with May and Parros hurt and have Montador playing forward. Meanwhile, McIver's in the box for that fight at 2:12.
5:41 - While defending a charging David Moss on the rush, Kent Huskins goes very hard and very loudly into the boards face first. Absolutely horrifying and he's very slow to get up as he's tended to by trainer Tim Clark. Huskins gets to his feet to the applause of the Honda Center crowd and doesn't appear to be bleeding as he's taken to the room. Now, whether he can remember his own name, that's another story.
4:26 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry
, 2 min. goaltender interference. Perry is pushed into Kiprusoff by Mark Giordano and knocks the goalie over. Looked questionable, and the crowd definitely thinks so when they see the replay.
2:12 - Nathan McIver and Brandon Prust go at it behind the Anaheim net. It's a lot of dancing and grabbing, though a few punches are landed by both guys. Eventually they run out of steam. McIver skates off with his mouth open, looking kind of like Ivan Drago when he first got cut in Rocky IV. But he's okay.
1:46 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF - With the Ducks on the rush, Ryan Getzlaf feeds Chris Kunitz in the slot and Kunitz's shot is stopped by Kiprusoff. But Kipper can't control the rebound and Getzlaf swoops in and chips the loose puck over him.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
5:07 p.m. - Another passionate rendition of both anthems by Dawn Wright.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere; CGY Miikka Kiprusoff.
Starting Skaters - ANA Brendan Morrison, Teemu Selanne
, Ryan Carter
, Francois Beauchemin, Scott Niedermayer; CGY Dion Phaneuf, Jim Vandermeer, Jarome Iginla, Rene Bourque, Craig Conroy
Scratches - ANA George Parros
, Brad May; CGY Matthew Lombardi, Andre Roy, Robyn Regehr
Parros was questionable with the eye injury suffered Friday night and they're holding him out. Steve Montador will be playing on the fourth line with Sutherby and Marchant.