It was a rocky start but the first line roared to life, extending one of the longest runs of form over an opponent in league history.
Ryan Getzlaf assisted on all five goals as the Anaheim Ducks rallied with three goals in the third period to douse the Calgary Flames 5-3 on Tuesday night at Honda Center.
Getzlaf's five point night tied the franchise record for points in a game, the 15th time a Duck achieved the mark and the second time in Getzlaf's career. It was also the fourth time a player has had five assists in a game for the Ducks, also a franchise record. Cam Fowler had a pair of assists, surpassing Oleg Tverdovsky and moving into a second place tie with Francois Beauchemin for most assists by a Ducks defenseman with 126 in his career.
John Gibson replaced starter Anton Khudobin 10:39 in to the game after Khudobin gave up goals to Michael Frolik and Sam Bennett on rebounds, Bennett's goal a particularly egregious cookie kicked right to him in the slot off a Mikael Backlund shot. The Ducks would rally to tie the game before the end of the first period, with Corey Perry slamming a puck home five hole at the far post, and Rickard Rakell taking a cross-slot pass from Sami Vatanen skate-to-stick and roofing the backhander over Karri Ramo.
The Ducks dominated the shots on goal counter in the second period 13-4, but were left scratching their heads as the Flames scored the session's only goal. Bennett raced up the near boards drawing the attention of Clayton Stoner in the corner, backhanding a pass out in front for Frolik to shoot home catching Gibson deep in the crease and beating him to the glove side in a paddle-down position.
For the game Anaheim out-attempted Calgary by a 65-31 margin at even strength, generating a 32-16 scoring chance edge and 19-8 high danger differential. For the entire 60 minutes the Ducks advantage was even greater; 73-36 in shot attempts, 38-19 in scoring chances, and 23-9 in high danger chances. Come third period, the imbalance in play swung the scoreboard back in favor of the hosts.
Just under two minutes in to the final frame Rakell shrugged off a high stick in the neutral zone, cutting down the slot and making himself available for a Perry feed in front to snap home and tie the game at threes. Just over two minutes later with Dennis Wideman in the box after a dangerous-looking cross check of Getzlaf into the dasher, Getzlaf made a brilliant back-check to win the puck back in the Ducks defensive zone.
A quick one-two with Fowler gave Perry time to leak behind the defense up the near boards, and Getzlaf hit him in stride. Perry made no mistake one-on-one with Ramo, slamming the wrister between the legs for a 4-3 lead the Ducks would never relinquish. After hitting the post with an empty net, Ryan Kesler tapped home into a yawning cage with 0.4 remaining off a Getzlaf feed.
Gibson finished with 19 saves to pick up his first win of the season. Frederik Andersen was a pregame scratch after heading to the doctor with flu-like symptoms earlier in the day.
The Ducks have won the last 21 regular season games between the two sides at Honda Center, dating back to January 19, 2004. Anaheim went 2-1 against Calgary in the 2006 Western Conference Quarterfinal and 3-0 against the Flames last season in the Pacific Division Final at home.
Anaheim moves in to a three-way tie for second longest home winning streak over a specific opponent, equalling the Montreal Canadiens mark against the New York Rangers from 1954-57, and the Canadiens run against the Washington Capitals from 1975-1981. The Philadelphia Flyers hold the NHL record with 23 straight home wins over the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1980-87.
The Ducks are back in action tomorrow night on the road against the Arizona Coyotes, a 6 PM PT scheduled start from Gila River Arena.