ANAHEIM, Calif. – For the third straight game, the Anaheim Ducks squandered a two-goal lead and had to decide things in a shootout. Luckily, they had Corey Perry waiting in the wings to provide the finishing touch to his 400th NHL regular-season game.
Perry scored the deciding goal of the tiebreaker for the seventh time in his career, Jonas Hiller made 37 saves, and the Ducks overcame third-period goals by Olli Jokinen and David Moss to beat Calgary 3-2 on Friday night for their 12th straight home victory over the Flames.
“The good part is we won tonight. The bad part is we had a two-goal lead and we gave it up again. It shouldn’t have happened,” Hiller said. “The problem is we start thinking too much about it, instead of just playing. We’re thinking about what could happen. It’s a mental game. We have to do better in the third, and we’re going to work on it.”
Defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky had a goal and an assist and Dan Sexton also scored for the Ducks, who were shut out in their previous two home games by Detroit and Phoenix before splitting a pair of shootout decisions on the road. Teemu Selanne, who had a goal in each of those games, was scratched for the sixth time in 10 games because of a nagging groin injury.
The Flames have won only once in their last 22 games at Anaheim, including three ties. The only exception was Jan. 19, 2004, when Craig Conroy had a career-high four assists in a 5-1 victory.
“Man for man, from our goalie right on out to our defence to our forwards, everyone played hard. That’s the effort we needed to have,” coach Brent Sutter said. “We had quality scoring chances. We took pucks to the net and everybody was engaged in the game right from the opening faceoff. We probably deserve better. But when you get to a shootout, anything can happen.”
Ryan Getzlaf also scored in the tiebreaker for Anaheim. Calgary’s Rene Bourque had a chance to extend it to a fourth round, but Hiller thwarted him to put a damper on Bourque’s 29th birthday.
The Flames, stymied on their first five power plays, got the man advantage again with 14:37 remaining after Saku Koivu was sent off for hooking Niklas Hagman and Jokinen beat Hiller to the stick side with a wrist shot from the right circle with 25 seconds left on the penalty.
Calgary tied it with 5:35 remaining in regulation when Moss got himself in position in the low slot and redirected Mark Giordano’s wrist shot for his third goal of the season.
The Ducks suffocated the Flames with an aggressive forecheck during the final two minutes of regulation, dominating play in the Calgary zone with no success as Flames backup goalie Henrik Karlsson stood his ground—at times from the seat of his pants. Karlsson got a break when Joffrey Lupul beat him to the glove side with a 40-foot slap shot from the slot and hit the right post.
Anaheim got a power play at 2:37 of overtime when Brendan Morrison was sent off for hooking Luca Sbisa, but the Ducks couldn’t capitalize and finished 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
“At times we looked like we were dog tired,” coach Randy Carlyle said. “We didn’t have very much jump. They did a good job early in the game of retrieving pucks and we didn’t get much of a forecheck game going. We had pucks put in their zone, but we didn’t really get a lot of puck recoveries and a lot of offensive zone time.”
Anaheim went more than 8 1/2 minutes without a shot on net during one stretch of the first period before Visnovsky ended the drought with a 40-foot slap shot that beat Karlsson high to the glove side and opened the scoring at 12:46.
Sexton, recalled from Syracuse of the AHL because of an injury to left wing Aaron Voros, made it 2-0 at 16:29 of the second. He converted a short cross-ice pass from rookie Brandon McMillan, who had beaten defenceman Adam Pardy to a long clearing pass off the glass by Visnovsky.
Karlsson finished with 23 saves. Miikka Kiprusoff was on the bench for the fifth time this season after stopping 30 shots in Calgary’s hard-luck 2-1 defeat at Los Angeles on Saturday night. The 2006 Vezina Trophy winner is 0-3 in the second game of back-to-back sets when he has started both games, so coach Brent Sutter gave the nod to the rookie.
NOTES: Voros, who missed four games with the flu before returning to the lineup Wednesday night at Vancouver, was placed on injured reserve because of a fractured orbital bone hesustained in a fight with the Canucks’ Kevin Bieksa. … Conroy, who has no assists and two goals in 17 games this season, was a healthy scratch for the eighth straight contest.