November 18, 2014: Ducks 3 @ Flames 4 (SO)
In the first game between these two playoff foes, Anaheim faltered, despite entering the third period with a two-goal lead. But let's be honest, the Ducks have created an impressive pattern of winning when the odds are stacked against them. Anaheim lead the NHL during the regular season with the highest win percentage (34.3%) when trailing after two periods, and set an NHL record for post-season consecutive wins when trailing at the start of the third period.
In the opening showdown between the Flames and Ducks, Sami Vatanen opened the scoring with just over four minutes left in the first period. Anaheim would further control the game and extend their lead to two goals with a powerplay goal by Matt Beleskey roughly halfway through the middle period. However Calgary fought back, surging for three goals in the third and taking the lead. Kyle Palmieri's first goal of the year late in the third on the powerplay would force the game beyond regulation, through a scoreless overtime period and into a shootout.
When facing his former club, Jonas Hiller managed to stop two of three of Anaheim's shootout attempts, while Frederik Andersen struggled in the one-on-one scenario, failing to save either of Calgary's first two shooters, giving them the extra point on the night. Anaheim ended the night leading in shots on goal 27-19, however that was a much closer margin than the 19-7 shots on goal lead that the Ducks held going into the third period.
November 25, 2014: Ducks 3 vs Flames 2
Just one week following the season series opener between Calgary and Anaheim, the Ducks would host the Flames at Honda Center, which has proven to be a tough building for the Calgary squad to win in. The last time that the Flames beat the Ducks in Anaheim, during the regular season, was back in January of 2004. However, Calgary did win one game at the then Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim during the teams' 2006 first round playoff series (eventually won by the Ducks in seven games). Anaheim jumped out to an impressive three-goal lead after two periods with bids from Matt Beleskey, Corey Perry, and Kyle Palmieri.
Yet again, Calgary would attempt a third-period comeback, however this time they would fall short, despite two goals in the second half of the closing frame, which put Anaheim fans just a little more on edge. Jiri Hudler pulled the Flames within one goal with just 46 seconds remaining in the game, however Anaheim netminder, Freddie Andersen would stand tall and fend off the last second attempts earning his team yet another victory by a one-goal margin. Andersen posted an impressive .941 save percentage on the evening with 32 saves on 34 shots faced, and a two-point night from Matt Beleskey (1+1=2) helped hold the Anaheim lead until the clock struck 0:00.
January 21, 2015: Ducks 6 vs. Flames 3
Finally a game that wouldn't conclude with just one single goal deciding the winner from the loser. Calgary opted to start goalie Joni Ortio over former-Duck, Jonas Hiller, which was clearly not the right way to go. Ortio saved just 7 of 11 shots faced, allowing the Ducks to jump out to a four-goal lead just halfway through the game. However the fourth goal by the Ducks, which scored off unexpected scorer, Tim Jackman's, stick, was enough for a switch in personnel for Calgary. Ortio hit the bench sending Jonas Hiller in for the closing half of the game.
Calgary managed to score two before the end of the second period, however a goal from Ryan Getzlaf, who ended the night with an impressive +3 rating, reestablished a dominant three-goal lead for the Ducks. Each team would tally one more goal on the night before the final horn, with Anaheim's sixth goal an empty net tally for Ryan Kesler. Anaheim had six different goal scorers on the night, while Corey Perry and Nate Thompson were the only players from the Ducks with multi-point games, each player tallying two assists. Yet again, Freddie Andersen ended the night as the victorious goaltender, stopping 30 of the 33 shots faced from the Calgary team.
February 20, 2015: Ducks 6 at Flames 3
Following a dominant month of hockey in January, Anaheim's play fell flat in February with the club earning just 13 of 26 available points. However the seemingly dominant 6-3 victory over Calgary from the 20th of February was hardly has one-sided as it appears on the scoreboard. Anaheim fell behind in the first period after a goal by Matt Stajan, and ended up in an even deeper hole after Lance Bouma's goal in the second period doubled his team's lead. However Andrew Cogliano would score before the closing of the second period diminishing the Flame's lead to one goal and a score of 2-1.
The third is where someone definitely turned up the heat, and Anaheim played with all the desperation and hunger that we have come to expect when they enter the third period trailing. The Ducks squad would tie a franchise record with an astonishing five goals in the third period, each from a different goal scorer. Beauchemin (from Cogliano and Rakell) opened the scoring, followed by Ryan Getzlaf (from Maroon and Lindholm), Kyle Palmieri (unassisted), Jakob Silfverberg (from Maroon and Getzlaf) and Hampus Lindholm who lathered the icing on thick with an unassisted empty net goal with just 61 seconds remaining. Calgary would tally one third period goal with less than two minutes left, but the final score read 6-3 in favor of the Ducks.
Anaheim's younger netminder, John Gibson, helped his team to the win, stopping 25 of 28 shots faced, while the team in front of him thoroughly picked Hiller, apart with five goals on 37 shots before the empty net tally finalized the goal list at six for Anaheim. Cogliano (1+1=2), Getzlaf (1+1=2), Lindholm (1+1=2), and Maroon (0+2=2) would all conclude the game with multi-point performances.
March 11, 2015: Ducks 3 at Flames 6
After an explosive start from Anaheim captain, Ryan Getzlaf, who scored twice in the opening three minutes of the game, Anaheim's play would fizzle out, allowing the Flames the opportunity to surge, tying the game at two after the first period, and only expanding on their lead from there.
The second period saw three Calgary goals despite Anaheim holding them to just four shots in the entire period. Two of the tallies would come on powerplays following back to back minor penalties assessed to Ryan Getzlaf. (Anyone else realize that Getzlaf insisted on doing things in rapid-fire twos in this game? Two quick goals, two quick penalties...) Youngster Hampus Lindholm would rekindle some hope for Anaheim with a goal late in the middle period, however the damage was essentially done.
Calgary entered the final period leading 5-3 and would seal the deal with a goal from Jiri Hudler with less than five minutes in the game. All in all, Anaheim's goalie, John Gibson, just didn't shine like he could have, stopping just 17 of 23 shots faced, while his opponent, Kari Ramo managed 29 saves on 32 shots. Despite severely out-shooting the Flames in the second and third periods, the scoreboard tilted the opposite direction.
Might I offer just a tough of silver-lining to this game? These two points did go a long way in helping the Flames sneak into that third spot in the Pacific Division over the LA Kings, and I mean come on, who really wanted to have two California teams in the post season? Not me, I'll admit that wholeheartedly.