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Slump Busted? Ducks Comeback to Rout Calgary 6-3

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It's been a month to forget, and this game started that way, but as it went on the Ducks exploded for five third period goals to get only their fourth victory of February.

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Final Score:  Ducks 6, Flames 3

ducks flames 2-20-15

First Period:

Bruce Boudreau did indeed start with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry split up but for the first ten minutes of the game it didn't result in anything but a goaltender interference penalty on Perry.  The first half of the period was uneventful for both teams aside from some disagreements in front of John Gibson, but during Perry's penalty Clayton Stoner made it a Calgary two man advantage for 47 seconds by cross checking Johnny Gaudreau head first into the boards. Jiri Hudler walked a puck right into the crease and tempers flared, but other than that the Calgary power play was pretty much terrible and killed off by the Ducks.

Shortly after the kill, however Calgary opened the scoring off of a turnover by Cam Fowler, trying to reverse the puck through the middle of the defensive zone.  The puck came right to Joe Colborne, Gibson fought off the shot up high, but left a rebound for Matt Stajan to put away.  1-0 Flames.

The Ducks couldn't generate much in the way of scoring chances against Jonas Hiller all period, but Calgary was only marginally better, directing 11 shots on net, as opposed to the Ducks' nine through the first 20 minutes.

Second Period:

Somewhat surprisingly, the Twins were still on separate lines to start the second period.  The second started much the way the first was, with neither team really putting much together, but Calgary possessing the puck a little bit more.  About four minutes in, Stoner took a hard check into the boards and went off for retaliating with a cross check, that we'll say didn't get his money's worth.  It took the Flames nearly the full two minutes to get anything toward Gibson, when they did Francois Beauchemin was there to block Gaudreau's shot from the side of the net.

The game opened up a little bit after that with Ryan Kesler using the defenseman as a screen on the rush and Calgary going the other way, but T.J. Brodie's backhand attempt was no problem for Gibson.  But it was Calgary capitalizing on another defensive zone turnover to make it 2-0.  Beauch began the breakout by trying to get the puck up the wall to Patrick Maroon, it went right through him to Dennis Wideman at the point.  Wideman walked it in and directed a shot/pass to Lance Bouma in front of the net, who just had to keep his stick on the ice to double the Flames' lead.  2-0 Flames.

The Ducks had one of their better offensive zone shifts after the goal, but when the puck came to Kyle Palmieri at the front of the net, Hiller was all over him.  On the next shift Gaudreau took Calgary's first penalty of the game, catching Kesler with a high stick.  The PP was incredibly sloppy, including an icing with the extra man and got nothing done whatsoever.

Only about a minute after the kill, however the Ducks caught a break as Andrew Cogliano's center lane drive opened up some space for Perry to shoot.  The rebounded off of Hiller and as Cogs met him in the crease it bounced off off of his shin and into the net to pull Anaheim within one.  2-1 Flames.

After that the Flames were right back on the front foot, thanks to a collision between Beauch and Kesler at the Flames' blueline, Calgary they went in on a 4-on-1 break against Hampus Lindholm.  The shot came from the fourth man in on the attack, but Hampus stayed with the play and ended up making a kick save, and a beauty, to deny the scoring chance.

With only five seconds left in the period, the Ducks managed two more shot attempts directly off of faceoffs but didn't have any luck to get it behind Hiller.  As that period wore on, the Ducks looked better and better, despite a couple of breakdowns (most notably the one that resulted in the second Calgary goal) and they went into the dressing room with a 25-19 shot advantage but still trailing by one.

Third Period:

Boudreau mixed the lines a little bit to start the third, but not as you'd expect, it was actually Devante Smith-Pelly making way for Rene Bourque on the second line with Kesler and Perry.  Once again early in the period, it was Perry going off for tripping David Jones.  That was, by far, Calgary's best power play opportunity of the game, but that's not saying much.  Wideman shot one directly into the hand of Gibson, for their best chance of the advantage.  As Perry vacated the box, Getzlaf found him but Mark Giordano kept him from getting in alone on Hiller.

Beauchemin tied the game up at twos, but that goal was 97.6% created by the speed of Andrew Cogliano.  Cogs jumped in front of Hudler to steal the puck in the defensive zone, and flew up the right wing creating a partial 3-on-2 break. Then he just flung a backhand pass into the crease, where Beauch was driving the center lane and redirected it past Hiller.  2-2 tie.

Only a shift or two later, Getzlaf gave the Ducks their first lead of the night.  The captain controlled the puck in the Calgary zone getting three shots away and recovering the puck after both of the first two.  Third time was the charm as his slap shot from the point rebounded off the end boards and banked in off Hiller.  3-2 Ducks.

And Palmieri extended the lead as he forced Mikael Backlund to turn the puck over right in front of Hiller.  The former Duck nearly covered the puck, but Palmieri poked it out from under the glove before the referee could blow the whistle and had an empty net to finish it off.  4-2 Ducks.

Jakob Silfverberg, who had been very good throughout the game, was rewarded as the Flames committed another defensive zone turnover.  Hiller tried to chop it up to his forwards at the blueline, but Hudler couldn't handle it.  Getzlaf dumped it in for Maroon and he put his patented below the goal line backhand pass in front to Silf for a 5-2 Ducks lead with just over five minutes remaining.

With about two and a half minutes left, Maroon was called for slashing, but neither he nor Getzlaf were very amused, because it was Maroon's stick that broke to indicate the call.  The slash was on the stick of the Calgary defender, so it was literally a tough break.  And finally the Flames' power play broke through.  With the extra man and Hiller pulled for a sixth attacker for about 45 seconds they kept the pressure right in Gibson's crease before Sean Monahan cashed in on a loose puck.  5-3 Ducks.

After the goal, Bob Hartley pulled Hiller again, and Hampus Lindholm cleared one off the glass, dead center of the empty net to salt it away.  6-3 Ducks.

**********

The Good: The Ducks gradually got better and better as the game went on.  They really had very little going on in the first period, but by the third period had completely dominated Calgary.  Yes, they got some good bounces to get on the board, but most of those were the result of going to good areas and controlling the puck for the vast majority of the final 40 minutes.

The Bad: Turnovers.  Both of Calgary's goals came off of nasty defensive zone turnovers.  Especially the first one, was a massive brain cramp from Cam Fowler in the middle of the ice.

The Ugly: This guy's flashing Calgary Flames helmet.  WTF?!

calgary WTF

The Unbelievable: Getzlaf and Perry stayed on separate lines for the full 60 minutes, except a couple of partial shifts here and there.

**********

3rd MVD: Jakob Silfverberg - It was looking like another one of those nights for Silf, where he was making good plays all night, but couldn't finish, until Maroon put one on a silver platter for him late in the third.

2nd MVD: Hampus Lindholm - Easily the Ducks' best defenseman in their own zone tonight.  His partner, Francois Beauchemin, was jumping up into the attack much more than usual but Hampus was always back in good position with a good stick in passing/shooting lanes.  And as a cherry on top, he got to show off his geometry skills with the empty netter.

1st MVD: Andrew Cogliano - Goal and an assist, but on top of that, he and Silfverberg were the main offensive engines for the Ducks throughout the game.

Next Game: Tomorrow in Edmonton, 4pm PT