Anaheim 3 Calgary 2
Recent history would suggest tonight’s affair at the Honda Center in Anaheim wouldn’t go quite according to Calgary’s plan of recording 7 straight wins. Not since 2005 have the Flames pulled off that feat, and will be in tough to do it again as Calgary has not won in the last 7 regular season meetings in Anaheim. Combine that fact with a red hot ducks team, and the alarming news before the game that Robyn Regehr was out with an undisclosed injury and things weren’t looking too good for the high flying Flames.
On The Line
Winning streaks are great, and nobody ever wants them to end. A streak of this magnitude is a great way to put some solid points in the standings before the Flames really start to roll in November and December, which has been the modus operandi in recent years. Calgary could move into sole possession of 1st place in the division, as they currently sit tied at 15 points with the idle Minnesota Wild. Anaheim has registered at least 1 point in 6 consecutive games, and are finally above the .500 mark (6-5-1) after a surprisingly miserable start to the year.
The Flames looked a little tired as the game started, with Anaheim carrying the majority of the play early on. Ryan Getzlaf opened the scoring with his 4th of the year, on a scrum in front of the Flames net. The Flames did a poor job of clearing the crease and allowed 4 straight rebounds leading to the opening goal. Brandon Prust got his fists in to the game with a scrap shortly after which seemed to give the good guys a lift. Calgary went on to have a few quality scoring chances, almost all of them courtesy of Marc Giordano who was anywhere and everywhere. But he couldn’t find the net and neither could his teammates, and the Flames entered the 1st intermission down by a goal.
Wayne Primeau took a holding penalty at the end of the 1st, and Calgary paid for it at the start of the 2nd. Chris Pronger wristed a shot just as the penalty expired, and it sailed past Miikka Kiprusoff for his 3rd goal of the season and staked the Ducks to a 2 goal lead. The collapse continued just 45 seconds later when Ryan Carter chipped in with his 2nd, and the Ducks were up 3-0 just 2 minutes into the period. The Flames got some chances later on, as Iginla was deined on a breakaway when he tried to flip the puck over gigantic Giguere (bad idea). Calgary did get on the board before the period ended when Curtis Glencross banked home a rebound off an Adian Aucoin point shot. Corey Perry took a 4 minute penalty (2 for unsportsmanlike, 2 for goaltender interference) to negate a late Ducks goal, leaving the game at 3-1 and the Flames on a crucial extended powerplay to start the 3rd period.
The Flames took advantage of Perry’s misbehaviour just 1:40 into the 3rd as Todd Bertuzzi burned his former team by scoring the prettiest goal on the night, a slick backhand deke past a frozen J.S. Giguere. The Flames would buzz for the whole 3rd period, garnering chance after chance, but the bouncy puck just wouldn’t bounce in the right direction and they couldn’t muster the tie. A spirited effort that fell just short. Not a bad way to end the winning streak, still lots of momentum coming home.
- Ryan Getzlaf: 1 goal and 1 assist to give him 14 points on the year. Was a huge force all game long.
- J.S Giguere: Calgary fired 36 pucks his way, and he turned aside all but 2. Call him lucky tonight, maybe he was, but the Flames had a miserable time dealing with his size.
- Jarome Iginla: 2 assists, and 26+ minutes of icetime for Calgary.
Jarome Iginla was in on a breakaway with the score 3-0, and Giguere stood his ground when Iginla tried to flip the puck over his shoulder. Turned out to be a difference maker.
More than a fall than an actual hit, but David Moss and the 6’4″ Kent Huskins got tangled up went crashing into the boards behind the Ducks net after a scoring chance by Moss. Huskins’ face took the full brunt of the ugly impact and he had to leave the game. He did return later on however, and appeared to be fine.
No single goat to pinpoint, but the Goat horns go to any Flames player on the ice when Getzlaf scored Anaheim’s first goal. Every forward and defender was caught watching the bouncing puck, and left Kiprusoff to deal with 4 quick shots, before Getzlaf finally found the net.
Todd Bertuzzi. Mr Clutch doesn’t usually go to a player on the losing team, but he, along with Kiprusoff, are the biggest reasons Calgary had a chance to tie the game late. Scored the nifty goal, but created chances every time he was on the ice.
Odds and Ends
Anaheim outshot the Flames 37-36. Chris Pronger led the way with 8 shots, and Dion Phaneuf led Calgary with 6. In the absence of Robyn Regehr, Dion Phaneuf played over 35 minutes…just absurd, especially on the 2nd of back to back games. Marc Giordano played his best game of the year. An abundance of energy, speed, and power that I’ve only seen in flashes. It was all on display in this one. He deserved to hit the scoresheet, but I’ll take that effort any night. Can someone tell me why Calgary was robbed of the 2nd half of Corey Perry’s double minor. For those that didn’t see it…Corey Perry took an unsportsmanlike penalty, and a goaltender interference penalty at 19:40 of the 2nd period. Todd Bertuzzi scored a powerplay goal 1:40 into the 3rd, exactly 2 minutes after the penalties began. The other penalty had not yet begun, yet Perry was allowed out of the box even though 2:00 showed as the time remaining on the Anaheim PK. How can they kill a penalty without killing off one single second of it? Puzzling, and may have cost Calgary a point or two. The Flames only took 1 minor penalty the entire game, kudos. David Hale makes his big return to the Saddledome on Tuesday. I’m sure all 20 of his fans will be watching intently as he searches for career goal numero uno.
The Flames return home for a Tuesday night date with the Phoenix Coyotes at 8:00 p.m. You can catch the game on Sportsnet West, and as always; the Fan 960.
Lines (To start):
Borque – Conroy – Iginla
Bertuzzi – Langkow – Cammalleri
Glencross – Boyd- Moss
Prust – Primeau – Nystrom
Pardy – Sarich
Giordano – Phaneuf
Aucoin – Vandermeer