ANAHEIM, Calif. – Another visit to Orange County, another frustrating loss for the Calgary Flames. And this one came at the hands of a former teammate.
Niklas Hagman put the puck past Miikka Kiprusoff in the eighth round of a shootout and the Anaheim Ducks beat Calgary 3-2 on Monday night for their 14th straight home victory over the Flames.
“He’s a goalie I have practised a lot against,” said Hagman, who has six goals and seven assists in 34 games with Anaheim since he was claimed off waivers from Calgary on Jan. 14. “I don’t have that many moves, and he knows my go-to moves. I tried to switch a little bit. I wanted to come with good speed and shoot it. Luckily for me, he probably thought I was going to go with my backhand.”
Bobby Ryan and Matt Beleskey scored less than two minutes apart in the first period for the Ducks, who won the tiebreaker by a 3-2 margin. Jonas Hiller made 24 saves, then thwarted Michael Cammalleri, Jarome Iginla, Krys Kolanos and T.J. Brodie in the tiebreaker to keep it going.
“We really needed those two points,” said Hiller, whose team is 10 points out of a playoff spot with 30 games left and has to jump over five teams to get in. “It wasn’t an easy game. Both teams played really hard. It was about time we won a shootout.”
The Flames haven’t won in Anaheim since a 5-1 victory on Jan. 19, 2004—their only regulation win in their last 24 visits to Honda Center (1-13-10). Their last seven games here have resulted in one-goal defeats, five of them either in overtime or a shootout.
“We had a couple of chances to win, but it’s not easy with their goalie,” Kiprusoff said.
Alex Tanguay and Iginla scored in regulation for Calgary. Kiprusoff made 31 saves in the opener of a three-game road trip.
The Flames, three points out of a playoff spot with 29 games left, are trying to avoid missing the post-season for a third straight year under coach Brent Sutter. The only time they’ve missed the post-season three years in a row was 1998-00 when Sutter’s brother, Brian, was the coach.
The Flames were trailing 2-1 in the third period when Anaheim defenceman Luca Sbisa received a five-minute major for head-butting Tim Jackman as he crossed the Anaheim blue line with the puck and leaving him dazed for a few moments. Calgary’s Tom Kostopoulos took exception and got a roughing penalty during the ensuing skirmish, leaving Calgary with a three-minute power play.
Iginla capitalized with the man advantage, beating Hiller on a breakaway to the stick side with 13:45 left in regulation off a feed from Olli Jokinen. It was the second breakaway goal in two games for Iginla, who extended his streak of consecutive seasons with 20 or more to 13—the longest among active players.
The Flames got a break when a goal by Ryan Getzlaf was waved off due to a goaltender interference penalty against Corey Perry at 8:23 of the first. But the Ducks opened the scoring at the 15:52 mark when Ryan got the puck in the slot from Lubomir Visnovsky and got his 20th goal on a 30-foot wrist shot while Perry was screening Kiprusoff.
Beleskey added his fourth of the season at 17:51, redirecting Sheldon Brookbank’s one-timer from the right point past Kiprusoff’s stick. The 2006 Vezina Trophy winner remained one victory shy of becoming the 27th goalie in NHL history with at least 300 regular-season wins.
“If we would have been sharp in the first period, we probably would have come out with a win,” centre Mikael Backlund said.
Tanguay got the Flames on the board at 4:41 of the second with his sixth goal and first in four games since returning from a neck injury that sidelined him for 15 games. He converted a pass from behind the net by Blair Jones and scored from the edge of the crease just two seconds after Calgary killed off an elbowing penalty against Kostopoulos.
Jones received a double-minor for cutting Teemu Selanne with a high stick after Scott Hannan was sent off for interference, giving Anaheim a two-man advantage for 1:36 later in the period. Kiprusoff made three saves during the 5-on-3 power play, and Saku Koivu fired two pucks off the post.
“The game was a little bit of a rollercoaster,” said associate coach Craig Hartsburg, the Ducks’ head coach for two-plus seasons. “I thought we had a good first 10 minutes, but the last 10 minutes of the first weren’t very good at all. We had to kill some key penalties in the second and battle back.”
Notes: Koivu has gone 11 games without a goal since his hat trick Jan. 10 against Dallas. … Eleven of the last 14 meetings between the teams have been decided by one goal. … The season-low turnout of 12,096 represented the Ducks’ fifth crowd this season under 13,000. … Hiller stopped Jokinen on a breakaway about 11 minutes into the first period, but Jokinen got the puck past him in the first round of the shootout.