Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen would sit out again, leaving the Ducks to their young defensive depth. With the streak still riding, the division still up for grabs, and a night for blood, it had all the markings of a great game. Despite the win, it would come at a heavy cost.
This game started off slow, and the Ducks were caught off guard for awhile. Johnny Gaudreau was sprung free and got a quality chance, but Gibson made a nice glove save, and stopped Sean Monahan on the rebound. Cogliano would get a decent look, as Chad Johnson stoned him setting up a two on one the other way but Cogs skated hard to break it up. On the toes save against Cogs, Johnson would end up hurting himself, sending Brian Elliott to the net.
Perry would soon be called for holding. On the power play, Kris Versteeg gave a dangle and produced a scoring opportunity, no lamp would light though as Gibby corralled the puck while laying down. After the penalty kill, Frolik kissed the crossbar, as a result the Ducks would get a chance to score as Eaves camped out front of their paint.
Micheal Frolik then took the puck down into the Ducks corner, and found Giordano at the point. His shot would rebound right to Mikael Backlund, who buried it. Flames 1-0.
Brodie took a slashing call on Kesler, but besides Getzlaf’s chance to shoot (spoiler: he didn't) the Ducks power play was weak. Calgary had come out playing the Ducks game of physicality, and was outshooting Anaheim 11-3 at the end of the frame.
Carlyle got Anaheim to respond less than a minute in. Ryan Getzlaf backhanded a face-off to the net, forcing Elliott to make a save. In doing so, the rebound found the tape of a crashing Major Eaves and the game was tied 1-1. This play was no luck as it was executed perfectly.
The Flames pushed back hard, forcing Gibby to keep up his strong play. The Ducks would hold, but soon find themselves down a man for too many men. On the PK, Gibson came up with a fantastic pad save on a redirection from Ferland. Calgary continued to cycle the puck with ease, but it would end with John Gibson making another huge save.
With Anaheim holding off the Flames push, an unlikely hero would score: Kevin Bieksa. A clapper from a hard angle squeezed its way through Elliott, not a good goal to give up. This sums it up:
However, the Flames challenged the play arguing it was offsides. After what seemed to be an entire day, the call on the ice stood. It was close, but nonetheless it was 2-1, Ducks.
The game picked up on the chippy side a tad as Alex Chiasson took the end of his stick and budded Gibson’s mask. Gibby didn’t like it, but the zebras missed it and the game moved on. Getzlaf made a deceiving back handed pass to Eaves on a rush, resulting in Patrick Eaves finding Rakell with a great pass. Elliott was able to read it perfectly, making an impressive save. At the end of the second, Calgary remained ahead 20-13 in SOG.
A lot of up and down hockey ensued. Theodore had a nice looking backhander a few minutes in, but the game remained tied. Then came a gut wrenching injury. Cam Fowler came flying into the zone and took a shot, and a late hit by the Flames captain took Cam out. On the replay, it was clear that it was knee to knee, and there was no call. Fowler had to be helped off the ice, as the fans rained their displeasure on the refs. It was without a doubt, a cheap shot.
The fourth line would give the Anaheim faithful something to cheer about, as Nate Thomspson won a battle down low. His pass would find Shaw, who would zip the biscuit to a crashing Wagner who tickled the twine. A great shift for the fourth line, and it was 3-1, Anaheim.
That wasn’t revenge. Everyone in the building knew it wasn’t, and chaos would consume this game. Josh Manson immediately found Giordano, and would absolutely destroy the captain. With the Pond rocking, the quest for blood was in the air.
It would not take long for Calgary to look to avenge their captain. Monahan exchanged some words with Ryan Kesler and all of a sudden Ferland jumped in there. Holzer would be tossed down by Ferland, and a line scrum broke out. Ferland found himself a misconduct, while Kes, Holzer, and Monahan went to the sin bin. The referees were trying to gain some sort of control as the game was getting out of hand.
The Ducks attacked with Perry creating havoc in front of Elliot. Engellend would go after Pears, and the two of them went off for rouging. It was clear the violence wasn’t over. Sam Bennett then pasted Montour, who would slash the Flames forward and would be penalized for it.
Getzy decided to join the party in the box, taking a dumb penalty as he tripped up Johnny Hockey blatantly. With a 5v3 for Calgary, there was hope for a comeback. The Ducks had other plans, doing an outstanding job on the kill. One bounce would flutter in the air above Gibby, and Montour jumped up to bat the puck away. Once the penalties were over, the fans came to their feet in loud appreciation. Backlund crosschecked Montour, and the Ducks power play was given another shot.
Nothing really went down on the Ducks man advantage. Getzlaf would make a nifty feed from behind the net but no one tucked it home. Just when it seemed the violence had toned down, Holzer decked Tkachuk. Matt Bartkowski immediately dropped the mitts with Holzer who would take down Bartkowski. During this scrap, Kesler and Frolik jabbed away provoking Kesler to start throwing punches. Engelland barged in to save his teammate, and an all out line brawl was on. It truly was, chaos.
With several misconducts and game misconducts, the game did in fact resume. The crowd was electric, and even savage as they chanted “You can’t win here!” It was beautiful. The horn would eventually sound, and yes, more pushing and shoving occurred after the game was over. Ducks 3, Flames 1.
There was 112 penalty minutes awarded.
The Ducks showed character. They are a very tough group who will not back down from anyone. It was a team bonding game, and with the playoffs right around the corner that is a great thing. Sadly, the state of Fowler is unknown, and that could be a horrible loss entering the postseason. On the bright side, the Oilers took an L to the Kings, allowing Anaheim to now control their own destiny.
That makes it 25 straight regulation wins, it’s been 13 years of this. Calgary, get your cheap hitting team out of our building. You can’t win here.