Fasth Flattens Flames 4-0

Jeff Gross

After a day filled with Ryan Getzlaf, Viktor Fasth steals the spotlight at night.


Final Score: Anaheim Ducks 4, Calgary Flames 0

First Period Recap: As they've done the past few games, the Ducks opened the scoring quickly. Just 1:15 after the puck dropped, Saku Koivu gets a pass to Andrew Cogliano who is standing just outside the trapezoid. Cogs rockets a pass to an on-rushing - and wide open - Daniel Winnik. Winnik beats Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff. Ducks up 1-0.

The Ducks had a good amount of energy for, say, about five minutes in the first. Afterwards it was all Calgary. If Viktor Fasth did not play like the reincarnated spirit of Patrick Roy (I know he's not dead), Anaheim would have lost 39274938 to 4.

I was not pleased to see Brad "Starburns" Staubitz back in the lineup (he replaced Brandon McMillan). Almost everyone was trying to fight him right off the bat but he didn't throw down. He was whistled for interference, it was a marginal call, and on to the penalty kill the Ducks went. It actually wasn't as scary as usual because of Fasth. They kill it and we move on.

Scary moment later in the period. The ice was crap and everyone was falling all over the place. Bobby Ryan, who falls a lot in a normal game, came rushing down to the end boards. He was all alone and 'lost an edge'. He did this weird spin-o-rama fall that might have tweaked his ankle. (I'm pretty sure I heard Robby shart himself and I wasn't even at the game.) Ryan looked to be in a considerable amount of pain as he skated off the ice. He sat on the bench for a bit and then went back in the locker room. It ended up ok. He came back out a couple minutes later, good as new.

As scary as that was (for Robby), it wasn't the most spine-tingling, give you the chills moment of the period. With 2:45 left, Alex Tanguay falls head over heels, literally. His skates are in the air and one of them catches Staubitz in the face. (I just got the willies thinking about it again.) Starburns laid on the ice for 10 seconds with his hands covering his face. He got up and slowly skated to the bench and went straight to the locker room. Mind you, play on the ice was still happening. No whistles at all.

At first, I thought he was just dazed from getting kicked in the face. Then the broadcast rolled the footage of the blade swiping Starburns on the left side of his face, kind of near his cheekbone, under a nostril and just about to his top lip. He is a hockey player and returned later in the game after receiving 35 stitches. If I received 35 stitches, you'd better put me in a medically induced coma.

The first ended uneventfully with the Flames controlling the final 15 minutes of the period

Second Period Recap: The Ducks came out slow again. It was like they took at nap during intermission and were still groggy. They'd get the puck, clear their zone and give it right back to the Flames. It was boring and ridiculous. Again, if it weren't for some miraculous stops by Fasth, Calgary would have scored a ton of goals.

Finally we get some scoring again at the 13:38 mark. After attempting a shot, Corey Perry ends up behind the net with the puck. He flings a pass to an open Bobby Ryan who lasers the puck right through Kiprusoff's five hole. Miraculously, the Ducks are up 2-0.

Now Anaheim has some energy and are attacking the Flames. A couple minutes after the Ryan goal, Emerson Etem and Peter Holland cross check a Flame player into screening Kipper. Starburns, with his face back together, get the puck to a wide open Sheldon Souray. Souray blasts a bomb from the blue line and into the net. Now it's 3-0.

Having woken up with four minutes to go in the second, the Ducks are getting everything they can out to the point where the defensemen are wide open. Souray continued to hammer Kipper with his heavy shot but couldn't get anything through.

Third Period Recap: Yet another scary moment in the game. Bobby Ryan tries to send the puck down the glass but ended up striking Perry right between the shoulder blades. As Perry is reacting, Bobby is hit by one of the Flames. Ryan goes down to the ice with his skates up in the air. One of his skate blades strikes Perry in the visor - no harm done. If the visor wasn't there, Perry wouldn't have a nose anymore. (Just grandfather in visors already...)

This period was kind of boring. Both teams were tired, at least the Ducks continued to look tired, as Fasth kept bailing them out. There was one pretty exciting moment. With under four minutes to play, Perry draws an interferrence penalty. Ref's arm goes up and Fasth heads to the bench. Luca Sbisa shoots from dead center near the blue line. Ryan is able to touch pass the shot directly into the crease where the puck sat until the $66 million dollar man, Ryan Getzlaf, taps it into the net.

That would be all as the Ducks ran down the clock. Viktor Fasth gets his tenth victory. It's also the first time in franchise history two different goalies post shut outs back-to-back.

**********

The Good: The Flames have not won in Anaheim during the regular season since 2004. This was the 16th straight victory for the Ducks against Calgary at home. Also, 10 different players made an appearance on the score sheet.

The Bad: Bless me Father for I am about to sin, Teemu Selanne was off tonight. He had a couple wide open chances that he'd normally nail and couldn't hit the net. Part of it is the line combination. He's fine with Nick Bonino but adding Matt Beleskey to the line with those two throws everything off. Bels is a primarily a physical player, which is great when the team needs energy. He doesn't have the set up abilities like Bobby Ryan did on the line. Bonino can set up Teemu but they really need three skill guys on the second line.

The Ugly: The Ducks played a strong game for maybe 12 minutes out of 60 tonight. Their inconsistent energy will bite them in the ass.

**********

Most Valuable Duck:

3rd MVD: The third line of Saku Koivu, Andrew Cogliano and Daniel Winnik. They are incredibly underrated for how much they've contributed to this team. Of all the lines, they are together 98% of the time. In a way, they're The Grind Line 2.0 with more speed.

2nd MVD: It's a three way tie between Souray, Getzlaf and Ryan. They all scored goals.

1st MVD: Viktor Fasth - duh. He was THE reason the Ducks won tonight. Granted, he didn't score any goals but he did keep Calgary from doing so when the shot differential was as much as 22 to 9, Calgary.

Next Game: Sunday, Mar. 10 at 5:00 pm PT, vs. St. Louis

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