CALGARY – Corey Perry took advantage of a rookie mistake to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday afternoon.
Perry intercepted an errant pass by first-year Calgary defenceman Adam Pardy and broke into the Flames zone alone, snapping a shot that trickled past Calgary goalie Curtis McElhinney with 28 seconds left in the second.
“I had my stick on the one side and I just moved it at the last second when he went to make the pass,” said Perry, whose goal gave the Ducks a go-ahead 2-0 lead. “It’s nice to see it go in. They’re a tough team to play against at home. It was a good feeling coming in with the lead after two.”
After Calgary’s fourth straight setback, Pardy took responsibility for his blunder at a key moment in the game.
“It’s a mistake I can’t make,” said the rookie blue-liner. “Last minute in the second and down 1-0, you’ve got to keep pucks out of the middle.”
Bobby Ryan also scored for the Ducks (27-24-5), who halted a two-game losing streak on the road. The Ducks will now return home to Anaheim where they’ll face the Flames in a rematch on Wednesday night.
Goalie Jean-Sebastian Giguere made 26 saves to record his first victory since backstopping Anaheim to a 4-3 triumph over the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 11.
“He played very well in the last game in Nashville (4-2 loss) and really couldn’t be faulted,” said Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle. “Your goaltenders don’t have to win you games, but they have to give you a chance and he’s been known for giving our hockey club a chance for a long time. Hopefully this game and the Nashville game, he can use it as a springboard to getting back to where he needs to be.”
Michael Cammalleri scored the lone goal for the Flames (30-18-4), who lost their fourth straight game and second in a row at the Saddledome in front of 19,289 disgruntled fans.
“We’re definitely feeling it,” said Calgary captain Jarome Iginla. “We want to get back winning. There were a couple of mistakes and, yeah, they ended up in (the net). But at the same time, we got one goal and you’re not going to win many games like that.”
Ryan scored the lone goal of the first period when he fired a low shot from the slot through traffic past McElhinney, who was making his first-ever start on home ice at the Saddledome. It was Ryan’s 18th goal of the season to tie him for the rookie lead in that category with Dallas forward James Neal.
Later in the period, McElhinney blocked a high blast by Anaheim forward Chris Kunitz to keep the game close. Not to be outdone, Giguere made a great pad save to turn aside an in-close attempt off the stick of Calgary speedster Matthew Lombardi.
“I’ve been feeling good on the ice the last couple games,” Giguere said. “I thought we played a pretty good road game.”
With Calgary enjoying a man advantage early in the second period, Giguere kicked out his right pad to stop a one-timer by Daymond Langkow. Later in the period, Giguere stood his ground to stop a puck that was tipped on net by Iginla after a point blast by Dion Phaneuf. It was Iginla’s lone shot on net in the game as the Anaheim defence did a great job to contain the Calgary sniper.
“He’s a battler,” said Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer. “He’s a tough player to play against. We just try to do our best.”
Calgary rallied in the third when Cammalleri deposited a rebound past Giguere for his team-leading 27th goal of the campaign. Calgary coach Mike Keenan pulled McElhinney in favour of an extra attacker late in the contest, but the Flames couldn’t find a way to get another one past Giguere to force overtime.
The Flames will host the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night before starting a three-game road trip in Anaheim where they hope to even the season series at two games apiece with a victory.
Notes: Prior to Saturday’s game, the last time a goalie other than Miikka Kiprusoff started on home ice for the Flames was when Jamie McLennan backstopped Calgary to a 5-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 26, 2007. The last afternoon game for the Flames at the Saddledome was back on Jan. 2, 2006 when they edged the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. For the first time this season, the Flames lost two straight games in regulation on home ice.