Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames survive late Ducks push for road win

Photo credit:Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
16 days ago
The Calgary Flames played two really good periods in Anaheim on Friday night. Then they played a third period where they seemed to white-knuckle their way through it.
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But the Flames survived a third-period push from the Ducks en route to a 6-3 victory over Anaheim to close out their California road trip with two wins in three outings.

The rundown

Just shy of five minutes into the first period, Jonathan Huberdeau was called for hooking. But on the ensuing Ducks advantage, the Flames scored their first shorthanded goal in three months. An Andrew Manigapane forecheck caught a Ducks skater flat-footed in their own zone, leading to a turnover. Mangiapane dished the puck off and went to the net, where he received a deflected pass from Brayden Pachal and fired it past John Gibson to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.
Midway through the period, off a really nice rush play, the Flames potted themselves an insurance marker. Martin Pospisil fed the puck to Nazem Kadri in the neutral zone, and Kadri created some speed through the neutral zone, cut through a couple Ducks defenders, and beat Gibson from the slot to make it 2-0 Flames.
First period shots were 9-5 Flames (7-3 Flames at five-on-five) and, via Natural Stat Trick, five-on-five scoring chances 8-7 Flames (high-dangers were 5-3 Flames).
The Flames made it 3-0 a few minutes into the second period. First, a long offensive zone shift led to a Ducks slashing penalty. On the resulting Calgary power play, Andrei Kuzmenko got the puck beside the Anaheim net and decided to make a power play, cutting into the blue paint and putting the puck on net. As Gibson spun to try to guide the puck away, he ended up knocking it into the net to give the Flames a three goal lead. (The Ducks challenged this goal for goalie interference, but it held up.)
Late in the second period, the Flames scored again. Connor Zary won a battle off a zone entry against Alex Killorn, and that led to a quick give-and-go play with Huberdeau. Zary finished the sequence with an in-close backhand shot past Gibson to give the Flames a 4-0 lead.
Second period shots were 10-5 Flames (5-5 at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 9-8 Flames (high-dangers were 2-0 Ducks).
The Ducks roared back in the first chunk of the third period, scoring three goals in a span of 4:07.
A couple minutes in, the Ducks won an offensive zone draw and Isac Lundestrom fired the puck on Wolf. The puck squirted through Wolf’s padding, though, and Sam Colangelo – in his first NHL game – chased the loose puck into the blue paint and poked it into the net to get his first NHL goal and cut Calgary’s lead to 4-1.
Just over three minutes later, the Ducks scored again. This one was off a fabulous pass by Trevor Zegras. He had the puck below the Flames’ goal line. He skated towards the far post, then threw a pass to an approaching Frank Vatrano (at the near post) for the quick wrister that beat Wolf to cut the lead to 4-2.
And just after that, the Ducks drew within one after an Olen Zellweger shot – with a Killorn screen on Wolf – glanced off MacKenzie Weegar and beat the Flames’ netminder to cut the lead to 4-3.
But with just over six minutes left in regulation, Walker Duehr was high-sticked. On the resulting power play, Kuzmenko scored again, getting around a defender in the slot with a nice toe-drag move and firing a shot on Gibson that squeaked through him and into the net. That gave the Flames a 5-3 cushion.
A little later, the Flames cemented their win. Martin Pospisil cut towards the net on an odd-man rush. Gibson laid out to stop Pospisil’s scoring chance, but Kuzmenko jammed in the rebound to complete his hat-trick. That made it 6-3 Flames.
The Flames held on for the win.
Third period shots were 12-8 Ducks.

Why the Flames won

The Flames didn’t play a perfect hockey game, and they seemed to be on their heels for much of the third period. But when they were good, they were really good. They scored twice at even strength, twice on the power play and once shorthanded. In short: they got contributions from a lot of different portions of their lineup.
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Red Warrior

It’s a joint award: Kadri played his 900th game and had three points. Kuzmenko had a hat-trick.

Turning point

Kuzmenko’s power play goal in the third period really seemed to halt the Ducks’ comeback hopes and gave the Flames some much-needed breathing room.

This and that

Dryden Hunt and Nikita Okhotiuk rotated in for the Flames, as A.J. Greer and Ilya Solovyov rotated out.
The Flames’ shorthanded goal was their first since Jan. 11. It’s the fourth time this season that the Flames have scored in all game situations (even strength, power play and shorthanded).

Up next

The Flames (36-38-5) are headed home. They face the Arizona Coyotes – in the last-ever match-up against Arizona in its current incarnation – on Sunday night at the ‘Dome.

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