The Ducks' forecheck was all over Calgary's defense from the first shift of the game and only 22 seconds in Ryan Getzlaf cut off an outlet pass from David Jones, he walked right to the front of the crease and snapped it past Kari Ramo. 1-0 Ducks.
About two minutes after the goal, the Ducks went on the first power play of the game. There was a scrum behind the Ducks' net, Brandon Bollig stepped in and grabbed Simon Despres from the pile and was the only one to receive any discipline. And it only took 38 seconds for the captain to make it 2-0. The Ducks lost the opening faceoff and notably on their re-entry into the zone Getzlaf carried the puck to the blueline, had no option but instead of dumping in, he circled back and restarted to ensure a controlled break in and it worked. Kyle Palmieri took a shot from the point which deflected off of Ryan Kesler to Getzlaf with a wide open net. Two goals on the first two shots of the game. 2-0 Ducks.
Only a minute later, Jiri Sekac nearly took advantage of a bad change for the Flames, speeded around a defenseman to the front of the net, but couldn't get it past the toe of Ramo. About two minutes later Ramo nearly gave up another easy one, coming out to play the puck it escaped him outside of the trapezoid but the Ducks couldn't get it to the front of the empty net. Calgary went right down the ice and forced a turnover of their own down low with Sean Monahan getting a point blank shot that John Gibson had to be alert for.
With 12:05 remaining the Ducks went to the kill for the first time in the game as Corey Perry got his stick between the legs of David Jones, and even though he didn't trip the call was made for hooking. Simultaneously Patirick Maroon and Derek Engelland dropped the gloves and as you would expect, Maroon took the worst of it, but held on for dear life after his helmet came off. It wasn't a great kill from the Ducks with a couple of turnovers that should have gone out of the zone, but Calgary basically misfired on any chances they had and couldn't convert.
But right after the kill Calgary pulled back into it. Kyle Palmieri couldn't handle a puck coming up the boards from Despres, he lost it to a Calgary forechecker, and most of his teammates had already left the zone. Gibson made two good saves, but Matt Stajan scored on the second rebound. 2-1 Ducks.
Calgary appeared to tie it on the very next shift. Josh Jooris threw a high shot toward the net and Johnny Gaudreau tipped it down, past Gibson. The goal was immediately called off, and after further review the call on the ice was confirmed. Still 2-1 Ducks.
Dennis Wideman went off for a high stick with just under seven minutes left in the period for the Ducks' second power play of the game. It was a pretty ugly power play chance for the Ducks, barely able to get through the neutral zone, they didn't get set up until the last 30 seconds or so and Calgary ended up with the only shot on goal.
Immediately after the kill Johnny Gaudreau did tie it this time. Hampus Lindholm couldn't the puck and get it out of the zone as he chased up to the blueline, Gaudreau slipped into the middle of the ice, received a pass from Jooris and flicked a backhander through Gibson. 2-2 tie.
Right of the faceoff, Despres pulled himself out of position for a hit and Monahan was left all alone in front of Gibson. He got around Gibson, but didn't have full control, once he regained it for the shot between his own legs Gibson reached back with the stick to keep the game tied at two. Outstanding recovery. Jakob Silfverberg grabbed the rebound out of the air and was assessed a penalty for closing his hand on the puck. Interestingly it didn't result in a penalty shot since he was technically in the crease, but I guess the determination was since the puck was in mid-air it was too hard to tell exactly if it was in the blue paint so just the two minutes for Silfverberg. A much better kill from the Ducks stemmed the tide a bit, but Calgary was still on the front foot.
The Getzlaf line had a good shift with a couple of decent scoring chances through traffic. Gibson had to make a couple of good saves in the final minute of the period and a crazy first period ended tied at two.
As you would expect, the second started out much more reserved than that insane opening period. Nothing much happened for the first five minutes or so, until the Getzlaf line got the Flames pinned in their zone for a looooooooooooong shift. They had a couple of good shots, but best chance of the shift was Getzlaf cutting to the front of the net, but he couldn't get the shot off because he was
hooked held... tied up legally by the defenseman. The Ducks were able to get a full change while controlling the puck in the zone. By the end of it the Calgary players were just standing around waiting for a shot, but eventually got a clear.
With 12:32 left Calgary took the lead. 79 carried the puck in on right wing and just shoveled it into the middle with Stajan and Nate Thompson tangled up heading to the front of the net and the puck deflected in off of Stajan's skate. 3-2 Flames.
On the following shift Getzlaf went a little out of his way to make contact with T.J. Brodie as the defenseman released the puck and somehow got called for an elbow even though his elbows were pinned to his side the entire way. Terrible call. Ramo coughed up a puck in the corner and Silfverberg tried to bank it in off of him, but no luck. The Flames went the other way and Monahan scored his second of the night. Cam Fowler attempted to clear the puck but gave it right to Dennis Wideman, he carried it to the other side of the ice and centered for Monahan who sniped it high stick side on Gibson. 4-2 Flames.
Boureau called his timeout following the fourth Calgary goal. That seemed to settle things down a little. The next real good scoring chance was for the Ducks about a minute and a half later when Rickard Rakell got a pass across the crease, through the collapsed Calgary defense to Andrew Cogliano, but Ramo got across to make his best save of the game to that point.
As Calgary broke out of the zone Getzlaf took a legitimate penalty this time, grabbing the jersey of Gaudreau after he had released the puck. It took about 30 seconds for Calgary to extend the lead. Gaudreau played give and go with Wideman and one timed it to the back of the net. Really pretty goal. 5-2 Flames.
The Ducks got a power play with 2:20 remaining on an interference call against Jooris, for holding up Ryan Kesler from backchecking. But it was negated when Kesler tripped Lance Bouma 41 seconds later for some 4-on-4 play. Even though the forward pairings were a little wonky (Perry with Thompson and Getzlaf with Emerson Etem) the Ducks were all over Calgary to start the 4-on-4 and after a couple of whacks in close, the puck squirted free to Lindholm who ripped it high glove on Ramo. Perfect shot. 5-3 Flames.
Gaudreau was stopped from carrying to the front of the net by James Wisniewski during the abbreviated Calgary power play in the last 20 seconds of the period, and 20 more seconds of said PP carried over into the third.
Nothing came of the remaining power play time to start the period for Calgary. However, a couple of minutes later Cogliano got called for the most obvious trip in the history of hockey. It was a pretty solid kill for the Ducks, with the most notable moment being Wiz blocking a shot off of his ass.
After the kill Despres carried a puck to the front of the net, but couldn't get a real good shot off. It almost worked out though. The puck went to the corner and Kesler backhanded a pass into the slot for Tomas Fleischmann, but Ramo just got enough of it to keep it out.
Through the middle of the period it was all defense by committee from Calgary, keeping the Ducks out to the perimeter. The Flames nearly put it away, with eight and a half left when Gibson attempted a poke check and had to recover in order to cover the empty net.
Calgary did end up salting it away on a dump in that nobody could handle. The puck went off the end boards and the back of the net, but as Gibson went to cover, Despes and Maroon went for the puck as well, knocking him off of the puck. It went right to Jiri Hudler and he scored on a wide open net. 6-3 Flames.
The Good: The Ducks, or at least Ryan Getzlaf, obviously came ready to play from the jump. Two goals in the first three minutes of the game on their first two shots, it looked like they were going to be able to coast, but Calgary is a quick strike team. Either way though the result is a win/win, it just would have been nice to see a performance more akin to that of Monday night in Vancouver.
The Bad: Not sure what it is about the second period, but the Ducks have given up 17 more goals than they've scored in the middle frame this season and this game was no different. Really going back to the middle of the first period and through just about the entire second, the Flames were the better team, just flying all over the place and racking up goals both pretty and ugly.
The Ugly: Four goals on only seven shots in the second and third period, is pretty terrible, but nothing to cry about too much on this particular occasion. Also, that elbowing call against Getzlaf in the second period was horrendous.
3rd "Icehole": Matt Stajan - Any time an opponent's fourth line has two goals, it's not likely going to be a good night.
2nd "Icehole": Sean Monahan - He may be boring, but not on the ice. He had a beauty of a goal, should have had two if not for a crazy save by Gibson and also a number of other chances.
1st "Icehole": Johnny Hockey - The hands, the speed. Two goals and one called back for a high stick. He even could have had an assist on his own second goal if they allowed that kind of thing. Keep it up kid.
Next Game: Friday at Minnesota 5pm PT