ANAHEIM – A 14th straight regular season win at home against the Calgary Flames didn’t come without some nail-biting moments, as the Ducks hung on for a 3-2 shootout win at Honda Center.
Niklas Hagman buried a wrist shot past old teammate and countryman Miikka Kiprusoff in the eighth round of the shootout and Jonas Hiller denied Mikael Backlund at the other end to clinch a stressful and crucial victory for the Ducks. Calgary hasn’t won in Anaheim in the regular season since January 19, 2004, but that’s not to say there haven’t been some close calls.
All of the last seven victories by the Ducks at home over Calgary have been by a single goal, and five of the last six games overall between the teams have gone to overtime and/or shootout.
Tonight, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan converted for the Ducks in the tiebreaker, but so did Olli Jokinen and Blair Jones for the Flames. Hagman gave the Ducks the lead in the shootout when he skated in hard and wristed a shot past a sliding Kiprusoff.
"It’s a goalie who I have practiced a lot against," said Hagman, who played for Calgary from 2010 until the Ducks acquired him earlier this season. "I don’t have that many moves. He knows my go-to moves. I tried to switch a little bit. I wanted to come with good speed and shoot it. Luckily for me, he probably thought I was going to go with my backhand."
But the Ducks couldn’t breathe easy until Hiller reached behind his own body to flick away the puck after Backlund tried a one-handed leave-behind move on the Anaheim goalie.
"We really needed those two points," said Hiller. "It wasn’t an easy game. Both teams played really hard. It was about time we finally won a shootout."
It was just the second shootout win for Anaheim this season (2-4), and the first since they beat the Rangers in Stockholm in the second game of the year.
"One point more or less, especially in the situation we’re in, can be between having a chance to make the playoffs and being out of the playoffs," Hiller said. "I knew it was really important. I really wanted it. I’m glad we scored those goals and I was able to stop them."
The Ducks held a 2-1 lead in the third, but Calgary tied it following a controversial call in which Luca Sbisa checked Tim Jackman and made contact with the head, receiving a 5-minute major and a game misconduct. Replays appeared to show that Sbisa’s helmet actually struck Jackman in the visor. Regardless, Calgary capitalized when Jarome Iginla got lost by two Ducks defenders at the blue line and fired a wrist shot past Hiller on the breakaway.
Teemu Selanne looked like he may have won the game early in overtime, firing quickly on net with Kiprusoff scrambling around the crease. The puck went under Kiprusoff and off the inside of the far post, getting trapped under the Calgary goalie just short of the stripe.
The Ducks had marched out to a 2-0 lead in the first period thanks to Ryan’s 20th goal of the season and Matt Beleskey’s third in his last five games.
Ryan broke the ice with 4:08 left in the stanza when he took in a Lubomir Visnovsky feed in the slot and whipped a wrist shot past a screening Perry and Kiprusoff.
Less than two minutes later, Sheldon Brookbank ripped a one-timer that was tipped through by Beleskey with his back to the net. Beleskey had been promoted to the second line with Selanne and Saku Koivu for this game, while Hagman had been bumped down to the fourth unit.
Calgary cut the lead in half 4:41 into the second after an uneventful Ducks power play, as Jones fed from behind the net to Alex Tanguay, who punched it through from inside the crease.
Anaheim missed a golden opportunity to add to its tenuous lead later in the period, as a Scott Hannan interference penalty and a Jones double-minor for high sticking Selanne gave the Ducks a lengthy two-man advantage. But Koivu rang the post twice on what looked like certain Ducks goals, and Kiprusoff played a big role to deny them the rest of the way.
Kiprusoff had 31 saves in his failed quest for a 300th career victory. He actually earned his second NHL win in Anaheim as a member of the San Jose Sharks in 2001, but since then is 0-6-3 lifetime at Honda Center in the regular season.
"We needed that one pretty bad," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "I’m sure in the last 30 games there are going to be a lot of games like that around the league, which is what makes hockey so great."
In addition to their home dominance, the Ducks have earned points in 24 of the last 26 games against Calgary overall (21-2-3), a streak that dates to March 28, 1999.
The Ducks have earned points in 12 of their last 14 contests (10-2-2). In addition, the club has won seven of the last 10 games (7-2-1), outscoring its opponents 30-19 in those 10 contests.
With an assist tonight, Teemu Selanne has extended his point streak to four games (3-2=5). In addition, Selanne has scored 7-7=14 points in the last 14 games and 10-18=28 points over the last 28 contests.
Lubomir Visnovsky has picked up points in six of the last eight contests, earning 1-6=7 points in that stretch.
Including an assist this evening, Ryan Getzlaf has scored 1-8=9 points in the last 10 games.
Niklas Hagman scored his fifth career shootout goal (5-for-19, 26.3%) and his THIRD career game-deciding shootout goal.
In addition to his goal in regulation, Bobby Ryan scored his fifth career shootout goal (5-for-18 all-time, 27.8%).
Matt Beleskey has scored two goals over the last three games (2-0=2) and has earned 2-1=3 points in the last four contests.
Tonight’s attendance was 12,096.
CGY Mikael Backlund's attempt is NO GOOD, as he tries to reach back and sneak it past Hiller, who reaches behind himself to shoo it away. Ducks win it, 3-2.
ANA Niklas Hagman's attempt is GOOD, as he skates in hard and buries it past a sliding Kiprusoff.
CGY TJ Brodie's attempt is NO GOOD, as he slows to a crawl and fires off Hiller.
ANA Cam Fowler's attempt is NO GOOD, as he skates in from right wing and fires into the glass.
CGY Krys Kolanos' attempt is NO GOOD as he fakes, then tries a backhand that Hiller thwarts with the glove.
ANA Jason Blake's attempt is NO GOOD as he's forced into a wrist shot that he fires wide.
CGY Blair Jones' attempt is GOOD, as he cuts to the forehand and sneaks it past Hiller.
ANA Bobby Ryan's attempt is GOOD, as he skates in hard and forehands off Kiprusoff's glove and inside the post.
CGY Jarome Iginla's attempt is NO GOOD as he throws a few dekes at Hiller and the Ducks goalie denies him on the shot.
ANA Ryan Getzlaf's shot is NO GOOD, as he fires a slap shot off the glass.
CGY Mike Cammalleri's attempt is NO GOOD as he fakes a shot and Hiller gloves the forehand.
ANA Teemu Selanne's attempt is NO GOOD as he wrists a shot from in deep off Kiprusoff.
CGY Alex Tanguay's attempt is NO GOOD as Hiller stops the wrist shot.
ANA Corey Perry's attempt is GOOD as he skates in from the right and slings it inside the left post.
CGY Olli Jokinen's attempt is GOOD as he cuts to the forehand and roofs it.
ANA Saku Koivu's attempt is NO GOOD as he hesitates and fires off Kiprusoff.
5:00 - Shootout time.
4:55 - Tanguay's one-timer with 5 seconds left flies wide.
3:25 - Hiller gloves a Hannan one-timer with 1:35 left.
2:59 - Calgary gets on a 2-on-1 poised to win it, but Iginla fires way high and into the netting with Hiller scrambling across the crease. Wow.
0:24 - Kiprusoff is swimming around when Selanne quickly fires on net under him, but it hits the inside of the far post before he covers it with the leg pads. Selanne has his arms up like he thinks it's a goal. We go to replay review and the call of no goal stands. Another bad break for Anaheim.
0:00 - Here we go.
20:00 - END OF REGULATION - Time runs out on regulation, and we're going to OT.
18:20 - Brookbank with ANOTHER shot, off Kiprusoff's pad.
18:05 - Blake fires off Kipper's chest and the Ducks hack away at the rebound to no avail.
16:40 - Linesman Brad Lazarowich nailed by the puck, but he's okay.
16:03 - CGY Penalty - 2 min. too many men. Iginla is late getting to the bench by about a half step and the Ducks get a big break.
15:35 - Beauchemin sends a slap shot from his own end to Kiprusoff, who gloves it.
14:33 - ANA Penalty - Cam Fowler, 2 min. cross checking. Fowler gets a Flame with the stick away from the play.
13:20 - Iginla's bid from the wing beats Hiller, but nicks the far post.
11:10 - Brookbank with yet another shot on net, a one-timer that flies just wide.
10:05 - Hiller stops Iginla point blank. Huge stop. Actually, two stops.
7:40 - Hiller sucks in a Butler slap shot as the power play finally expires. Ducks give up just that Iginla goal.
6:15 - CALGARY GOAL (POWER PLAY) - JAROME IGINLA - Beauchemin and Brookbank lose track of Iginla, who gets a Jokinen pass at the blue line before breaking away and firing a wrister past Hiller. We're tied 2-2.
5:05 - Ducks down a man now till 7:40, and Cogliano clears the length of the ice.
2:45 - Gut check time for Anaheim.
2:40 - ANA Penalty - Luca Sbisa, 5 min. illegal hit to the head and game misconduct and CGY Penalty - Tom Kostoupolos, 2 min. roughing. Sbisa gives a forearm to Jackman, but his helmet hits Jackman in the chin and snaps his head back. Kostoupolos takes exception and goes after Sbisa, sparking a mini rumble. The penalty on Sbisa, replays show, was not deserved.
0:00 - Off and running in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Calgary cuts into the lead and Ducks miss golden opportunity to make it bigger. It's 2-1.
14:48 - Hiller smothers the puck to earn a stoppage after some constant back-and-forth.
10:51 - Ducks with a huge missed opportunity thanks to Kiprusoff and the posts. We're back to even strength.
10:03 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf, 2 min. interference and Mark Giordano, 2 min. diving. Getzlaf battling in front, but Giordano selling it too much.
8:05 - Koivu with ANOTHER one-timer from the slot that rings the pipe. Unreal.
7:40 - Koivu rings the post from a bad angle in deep. Had the wide open net though.
6:51 - CGY Penalty - Blair Jones, 4 min. high sticking. Jones with a two-handed swing at Selanne's visor that earns him the double minor. Ducks get a lengthy 5 on 3.
6:44 - Visnovsky rocket denied by Kiprusoff. He's due for one.
6:27 - CGY Penalty - Scott Hannan, 2 min. interference. Hannan gets too aggressive running into Getzlaf as he tries to chase his own dumped puck.
5:50 - Hagman tries a wraparound, but Kiprusoff stuffs him.
4:41 - CALGARY GOAL - ALEX TANGUAY - Just after a lackluster Ducks power play expires, Jones picks up a loose puck behind the Anaheim net and sends in front to Tanguay, who punches it through from inside the crease. It's 2-1 Ducks.
3:39 - CGY Penalty - Tom Kostopoulos, 2 min. elbowing. Ducks get on their first power play of the night.
2:23 - Cogliano taps it ahead to Blake, who fires into Kiprusoff's glove.
1:44 - Hiller flicks away a Comeau rocket.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Bobby and Beleskey tally and it's 2-0.
17:51 - ANAHEIM GOAL - MATT BELESKEY - The Ducks make it 2-0 when Selanne sends the puck up top to Brookbank, who tags a one-timer that Beleskey tips through with his back to the net. It at first looked like Brookbank's first of the season, but instead it's Beleskey's third in the last five games, as he makes that promotion to second line pay off.
15:52 - ANAHEIM GOAL - BOBBY RYAN - Visnovsky makes a nice feed from the right point to Ryan in the slot. He knocks it down and whips a shot past a screening Perry and, more importantly, Kiprusoff. It's 1-0 on Ryan's 20th of the season.
14:40 - Koivu with a smooth feed to a charging Selanne, but under his stick. Ouch.
13:30 - Hagman working hard on that fourth line with Parros and Pelley.
11:15 - Jokinen sneaks behind the defense to chase down a puck and Hiller makes a big stop on him.
10:23 - Ducks kill.
8:23 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. goaltender interference. Just as Perry is ridden into Kiprusoff and knocks him down in the crease, Getzlaf fires it through.
4:05 - As expected, Beleskey on the second line with Koivu and Selanne.
2:50 - Fowler tries to tap it through to a wide open net on the rush, but Kiprusoff makes a big save.
Between Kiprusoff, Bouwmeester, Kostopoulos and Cammalleri, my keyboard will probably quit on me tonight. Here's hoping no goals, penalties or saves by any of them.
2:09 - Bouwmeester skates in on Fowler, but Hiller stays with him.
0:55 - Brookbank with an early bid, gloved by Kiprusoff.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
Check this out on Kiprusoff: He's 1-6-2 here in the regular season with a 3.42 GAA and .898 save percentage. His only win here was his second career victory, while with San Jose. He's sitting on 299 wins tonight.
7:08 - Nice job on both anthems by Dawn Wright. Starters in bold/italics.