Flames can’t get past Ducks
CALGARY — Andrew Cogliano scored the go-ahead goal at 14:41 of the third period as the Anaheim Ducks picked up an important two points with a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night.
Stephane Robidas’ shot from the blue-line was kicked out by Karri Ramo but the puck went right to Cogliano at the face-off circle, who quickly fired in his 21st goal of the season.
It was just minutes earlier that Cogliano had a good chance in the slot but rang a shot off the outside of the post.
Finishing it off wasn’t easy, however. The Flames poured on the pressure in the final minute with the goalie pulled. Mike Cammalleri’s blast came the closest to getting past Jonas Hiller, but the Ducks hung on.
Nick Bonino and Mathieu Perreault also scored for Anaheim (47-18-7), which kicks off a three-game road trip to Western Canada with its sixth road win in its last eight games away from the Honda Center.
The win moves the Ducks to within two points of the San Jose Sharks and the lead in the Pacific Division. Anaheim still holds two games in hand.
Brian McGrattan and Jiri Hudler scored for Calgary (30-36-7). It’s the Flames league-leading 44th one-goal game, which is one short of the franchise record.
Trailing 2-1 headed to the third period, the Ducks tied it at 5:32.
Sami Vatanen’s rising shot from the blue-line hit a scrum of bodies in front that included Ramo, who had come out of his crease to cut down the angle. Unfortunately for the Flames goaltender, the puck dropped at the skates of Perreault, behind Ramo, and he easily slid the puck into the vacated net.
Perreault’s 16th goal extends his point streak to six games (four goals, two assists).
Trailing 1-0 after the first period, the Flames tied it at 4:44 of the second. Although the goal was flukey, it came after a shift in which the trio of McGrattan, Kevin Westgarth and TJ Galiardi put in some tireless work deep in the Anaheim end.
Tyler Wotherspoon made a great play at the blue-line to keep the puck in after an attempted clear. His quick shot towards the net deflected off the glove of Kevin Westgarth in front then bounced in hit the leg of McGrattan and trickled behind Hiller.
McGrattan’s fourth goal and 10th of his career comes in his 300th NHL game.
Calgary took a 2-1 lead with 26 seconds left in the second, the result of a pretty play by Ladislav Smid.
Not known for offensive creativity at all — just four assists in 71 games entering the night — Smid fooled everyone on the ice with a fake shot before sending a quick pass to Hudler at the face-off circle who blasted a slapshot past Hiller before he could get across.
It was the second time this month the two teams had met at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Two weeks ago, the Flames scored four times in the first period in routing the Ducks 7-2.
Calgary got off to a good start again Wednesday, outshooting the Ducks 12-9 in the opening 20 minutes, but this time were not able to get to Hiller.
Chased last time less than 12 minutes in, after surrendering three goals on five shots, the Swiss native went the distance this time, finishing the night with 32 stops to improve to 29-11-6.
Anaheim got the only goal of the first period on a pretty individual effort from Bonino.
After weaving his way through centre and into the Calgary zone, he ripped a shot into the top corner past the outstretched glove of Ramo.
It was the third power-play goal in three games for the Ducks, who in the nine games prior to that were 1 for 33 with the extra man.
Ramo had 31 saves to fall to 13-11-4. The Finn had won his previous five decisions.