The Calgary Flames went back and forth with the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night, and the final swing went in favor of the visitors thanks to a Cam Fowler overtime goal; the Ducks walk away with a 5-4 win in Calgary. The point streak is now at ten for the Flames, and they can take some positives out of the loss.
This game was all over the place, and it started in odd fashion, with Olli Jokinen missing on a penalty shot opportunity midway through the first period. It came on a Flames powerplay, but Olli’s shot glanced off Anaheim goalie Curtis McElhinney before going high. Shortly thereafter, it was the Ducks opening the scoring on a nice cycle sequence with Jason Blake, Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu wheeling with the puck. Koivu would end up potting his 12th as the Ducks would take a 1-0 lead into the intermission. Calgary had the scoring chance edge after 20, thanks mostly to their powerplay.
But the Flames cancelled out a weird first period with a couple quick goals early in the second, first with Rene Bourque ripping one past McElhinney at 3:16 for his 17th of the season. Just 41 seconds later, a fast break saw Curtis Glencross find Olli Jokinen going hard to the net; he’d get his stick on it to give Calgary their first lead of the hockey game. And then ANOTHER swing. At 7:34, Ducks Head Coach Randy Carlyle played the matchups, getting Selanne’s line on the ice against the Calgary fourth line; Koivu would eventually hammer home his second of the game for a 2-2 tie. Then, special teams…on a Flames powerplay, Brandon McMillan broke in on a two-on-one chance, and instead of passing, he’d shoot and beat Miikka Kiprusoff and the Ducks had their one goal lead back. Anaheim did some really nice work in that period, and came out way on top in the chance count.
And then SWING in the third period. at 5:33, Jarome Iginla would score his 23rd of the season to knot things up once again to set up Mr. Clutch. On another turnover, Glencross took a pass on the left wing from David Moss, and Curtis would score again, making it 4-3 and putting him in a spot for a third straight game winning goal. However, Glencross would also play into the tying marker, taking a hooking late in the third period to give the Ducks their first powerplay of the game. It didn’t take long for Ryan Getzlaf to feed Selanne in the slot, and bam, we’ve got a 4-4 hockey game. Glencross did NOT like the call, he was kinda surly, while Head Coach Brent Sutter didn’t seem to have a problem with it. Off to overtime we went.
Anaheim lead the chance count, and Kiprusoff had to make a few big stops prior to the winner with 19 seconds to go. On a play that sure was close to being offside, Cam Fowler came in on net from the right boards and would eventually beat Kiprusoff, and after nine goals and nothing more than a one goal lead, the Ducks would walk away with an overtime win.
One Good Reason
…why the Flames lost? Well, they do get the point, which is important, but the team was probably a little loose overall. They would finish behind in the chance count, especially at even strength, and even a game where they scored 4 goals on 10 ES chances, they gave up 18 of their own. You’re not usually going to score at that clip, and when your top line was thoroughly worked at times by the Koivu line, Calgary was kind of fortunate to come away with the point. They’ll take the point though.
Weird night overall. I’ll go Rene Bourque just because of his struggles over the last, oh, three months of the season. He was actually pretty good tonight, using his good size and strength to his advantage much more than we’ve seen in the last little while He scored the goal, had two other glorious chances, and was probably the best of the three guys on the top line. Maybe he can try doing it again in Vancouver?
Sum It Up
A disappointing loss in some senses for the Flames, because they had a one goal lead late and would end up coughing up the two points. On the other side of things, It’s a ten game point streak and wins in eight of ten. They’ve got the Canucks on Saturday night, a Vancouver team severely beat up on the back end. Calgary has stayed fairly consistent in the way they’re playing, so tomorrow’s a chance to get right back to it.