Flames snuffed by Ducks
CALGARY — Daniel Winnik scored twice Monday night as the Anaheim Ducks made it two straight wins on the road with a 5-4 victory over the Calgary Flames, who have opened up the season with consecutive home losses.
Signed as a free agent last summer, Winnik has found instant chemistry on a line with Saku Koivu and Andrew Cogliano. All three of them were in on Winnik’s go-ahead goal at 4:02 of the third period, which broke a 3-3 tie.
The culprit on the play, 150 feet from where the goal was scored, was Calgary centre Alex Tanguay. His pass into the slot on a Flames rush was picked off by Cogliano, who promptly turned and led a rush up ice that was eventually finished off by Winnik.
Winnik, with his third and fourth goals of the season, is tied with Chicago’s Marian Hossa for most goals in the very young NHL season and is suddenly just seven goals off his career high.
Ryan Getzlaf added his second goal of the night at 11:15 to make it 5-3, and, although the Flames got back to within one on Lee Stempniak’s breakaway goal three minutes later, Calgary was unable to get the tying goal past Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller.
Koivu had the other goal for Anaheim (2-0-0), which will enjoy a rare three-day rest in this year’s compressed schedule before playing host to Vancouver in a home opener Friday.
Curtis Glencross, with two goals, and Tanguay also scored for Calgary (0-2-0). The Flames will next try their luck on the road with a trip to Vancouver to play the Canucks on Wednesday.
On the heels of a 4-1 loss Sunday night to the San Jose Sharks in which Calgary led 1-0 after one period, only to fall apart, the Flames got off to the worst possible start.
Fans were still making their way to the seats when Anaheim opened the scoring at 1:06 on a nifty deflection by Getzlaf of Toni Lydman’s point shot.
Koivu flicked in Cogliano’s centring pass at 7:23 to make it 2-0, and three minutes later Winnik’s shot deflected off Wideman and behind Miikka Kiprusoff.
With Anaheim up 3-0 on the scoreboard, 9-2 on the shot clock, and having sucked all the energy out of the Scotiabank Saddledome’s normally boisterous sea of red fans, the Flames were looking for a spark and they got one when Lydman was sent off for cross-checking at 16:15.
With new addition Dennis Wideman quarterbacking the power play, it took Calgary 39 seconds to connect when Wideman’s shot was deflected in by Glencross.
Calgary cut the deficit to 3-2 with 26 seconds left in the first after Tanguay beat Hiller over the blocker on a wrist shot.
A penalty with one second left in the first put the Flames back onto the power play to open up the second period and again it was Glencross connecting with another deflection. This time it was Mike Cammalleri’s shot that he tipped home to tie it 3-3.
With that, the crowd was right back into it again with the first “Go Flames Go” chant breaking out shortly after.
Calgary outshot the Ducks 14-3 in the second and could have taken the lead if not for some sharp saves from Hiller, his best being a pad save off Stempniak on a breakaway that would have put Calgary in front.
Hiller finished the game with 21 saves, while Kiprusoff stopped 19 shots.