DUCKS DOWN FLAMES IN DISNEYLAND
ANAHEIM, CA -- The Disneyland curse continues on.
Walking wounded into California, the Ducks downed Calgary 5-2 at Honda Center on Friday afternoon, continuing the Mickey Mouse curse that keeps the Flames winless in 18 trips to Anaheim.
The Flames entered the game down four of their top-10 scorers after Sean Monahan and Dennis Wideman joined Curtis Glencross and Mark Giordano on the injured reserve before Calgary’s cruise down the coast.
Without them, Reto Berra did his best to alleviate the Ducks’ jinx early.
Seven minutes in, Teemu Selanne hauled the puck over the Flames blue line on an odd-man rush and hit trailer Cam Fowler in the high slot with a pass. Fowler corralled and fired, but Berra made a strong stick save to keep the game scoreless. Just a dozen seconds later, Saku Koivu’s shot forced Berra to flash a quick pad to finish the sequence.
The Flames goaltender was equally good stopping former Calgary forward Tim Jackman near the midway mark of the period. Berra wrestled off Jackman’s initial shot before flashing the glove on Nick Bonino’s rebound attempt.
But Berra couldn’t keep the Ducks at bay.
Andrew Cogliano showed patience with the puck in pulling the keeper out of his crease before feeding Sami Vatanen, who uncorked a point shot that eluded a sprawling Berra to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead at 12:20. Just 54 seconds later, Corey Perry redirected Ben Lovejoy’s point shot between Berra’s legs to extend the lead to two.
Anaheim wasted little time bringing that lead up to three.
Berra denied Dustin Penner’s one-timer in the slot, but the Ducks’ forward converted his next chance seconds later on Ryan Getzlaf’s slap-pass at 3:52 to stake the Ducks to a 3-0 lead.
After David Jones and Andrew Cogliano traded goals 2:30 apart, Jones scored his second of the game to pull the Flames back within two, firing a shot over the glove of screened Ducks’ starter Frederik Andersen at 12:17 to cut Anaheim’s lead to 4-2.
Selanne struck iron in the third and Berra made a pair of saves off Koivu’s sharp-angled shot and Cogliano’s rebound attempt eight minutes into the third period to keep Calgary within two.
But Penner, with his second of the game and ninth of the season, put the game out of reach for Anaheim, converting a feed from Getzlaf to chase Berra from the game in favour of backup Karri Ramo with 8:34 remaining.
GOAL OF THE GAME
After a strong forecheck from Lance Bouma, Smid fired a shot from the point that glanced off a Ducks’ defender, hit Andersen and dribbled over the line at 5:51 of the second period for Calgary’s first goal of the game and Smid’s first as a member of the Flames.
SAVE OF THE GAME
Jackman’s initial shot glanced off a player in front and skipped on Berra, but the Flames’ goaltender kept both it and Bonino’s rebound attempt out to temporarily keep the game scoreless early in the first period.
The Flames continually tried to claw back into the game, but couldn’t overcome deficits of 3-0 and 4-1 before eventually falling to the Ducks.
STAT OF THE GAME
After scoring just three goals in 33 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season, Jones has six in 21 with the Flames.
Shane O’Brien and Paul Byron were scratched against the Ducks. Mark Giordano (broken ankle), Curtis Glencross (knee), TJ Galardi (back), Dennis Wideman (hand) and Sean Monahan (foot) all missed the game due to injury.
The Flames play the second of back-to-backs on Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings (8 p.m. MT, TSN).
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