They don't have to be pretty, but every win counts the same two points in the standings.
The Anaheim Ducks snapped a franchise record-tying 11-game home winning streak by the Calgary Flames thanks to a second period goal by Shawn Horcoff, shutting down the hosts and holding on for a 1-0 win Tuesday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.
"Second period for a long time for us was a trouble area. For us we were happy with the first period, we want to be a team that really raises the intensity as the game goes on. I thought we were able to do that," Horcoff said on Prime Ticket.
The Ducks allowed the hosts an Anaheim season low 14 shots on goal, with the Ducks trying nearly twice as many shots as the Flames with a 39-20 even strength shot attempts advantage. Anaheim doubled up Calgary with a 12-6 five-on-five high danger attempts advantage, and had a 21-10 scoring chance edge.
"The team played great in front of me, I mean 14 shots, any time you give that up you''re doing something right. I've got to give a lot of credit to them and I was just trying to be there when they needed me," John Gibson said to Prime Ticket after earning his third shutout of the season.
Without Cam Fowler due to a knee sprain suffered in the first period of Anaheim's 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, the Ducks allowed just 31 shot attempts by the hosts for the game, blocking 14 shots and allowing just five scoring chances in the final period. Kevin Bieksa carried the load for the defense, playing 24:48 and finishing with a +4 shot attempt differential.
"I think we just found a way to slow them down, clog up the neutral zone. We know they're a fast team and they have guys that are really skilled, so we just tried to clog it up and it worked out tonight," said Gibson on Prime Ticket.
Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau had a team-high four shots on goal, but despite half of his eight shot attempts coming from the high danger area Anaheim was able to hold him off the score sheet. All but one player for the Ducks finished with an even or positive shot attempt differential for the life of the game, with Corey Perry, Hampus Lindholm, and Horcoff finishing a team high +8 SAT differential at even strength.
"I think the forwards really stringing the neutral zone for us makes it easy to gap up, and we forced them to dump it in. It's always going to be easier for us to break out when we come down with speed, so the forwards made it easy for us tonight and Gibby came up big for us," said Lindholm on Prime Ticket.
In Fowler's absence Shea Theodore played 15:45 in his NHL debut, with 1:24 of power play time, while Lindholm finished with the third most minutes (21:46) behind Sami Vatanen's 24:14.
"I played it simple, like I had planned to. It helps when you have a defenseman like [Clayton] Stoner helping me out there, he's a simple guy to play with and he made things really easy," Theodore said on Prime Ticket.
Anaheim's win was the first in Calgary in regulation by a visiting team since the Canadiens knocked off the Flames on October 30.
"You have to step it up. I see it as a challenge, it's fun to have guys playing more minutes, but of course we're going to miss Cam. We had a guy like Shea tonight come up and play big for us, it's fun to see how deep the organization is," said Lindholm.
The Ducks continue their three-game Pacific Division road trip in Alberta on Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers at 6 PM PT at Rexall Place.