ANAHEIM, Calif. – Ryan Getzlaf shook the building alive and extended the Calgary Flames' nightmares at Honda Center in one fell slap shot.
Getzlaf hammered home a pass from Corey Perry from the top of the right circle with 46 seconds remaining to lift the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-2 victory on Friday night. Getzlaf ended a 17-game goal-scoring drought, and the cathartic yell he produced after his game-winner might still echo in some parts of Southern California.
"It was an emotional one," Getzlaf said. "That's a big win for our group. We've got half the battle won this weekend. Tonight's an emotional one and we've got to enjoy it right now and get ready for the next one (Saturday at Los Angeles)."
The Ducks bumped Minnesota out of 12th place – both teams have 66 points, but Anaheim has more non-shootout victories -- and remain seven points behind eighth-place Dallas, which beat Edmonton, 3-1.
The Flames are still in 11th place with 69 points after losing their 15th straight game at the Honda Center. Calgary hasn't won in Anaheim since Jan.19, 2004. The Flames fought back from a 2-1 deficit but missed a chance to overtake Los Angeles and Colorado for ninth in the West.
It was only Getzlaf's ninth goal. It was also ironic considering Getzlaf is long known for not shooting enough.
"As long as we're doing other things well -- and our team is winning -- it's not as frustrating as everybody thinks," Getzlaf said. "When you're not putting the puck in when your team's winning. That means we're doing other things well."
Anaheim had scored one goal in its previous two games and went nearly three games without an even-strength goal.
Three goals constituted a breakthough, and coach Bruce Boudreau was glad to see the third from his captain.
"I was happy for Ryan," Boudreau said. "I think it's been 18 games or so since he last scored. It looks like he was so snakebit, so maybe this will open the door for him."
Jonas Hiller made 27 saves in his franchise-record 24th consecutive start. He is 15-5-4 with a 1.85 goals-against average in that span (with one no-decision). Hiller stopped Blake Comeau and made several saves, including one off his mask, in a 12-shot second period by Calgary.
At the other end was Leland Irving, who mostly held his own in sixth career start with 35 saves. He stopped Bobby Ryan on a breakaway in the first and took a Ryan shot off the mask in the second.
On the winning goal, Irving was drawn out of his crease by Perry, who darted down the right boards and put it on a tee for Getzlaf – a sort of introduction to the swift reality of a playoff race.
"That's the excitement of playing in this League," Irving said. "I get to see what Kipper (Miikka Kiprusoff) faces every night. It's tough to take when you're not going to (get) any points out of it."
Alex Tanguay tied it at 2 at 4:27 of the third by sweeping in Mike Cammalleri's rebound after Cammalleri's rush from the right side.
It was new life, but the Ducks swiftly took it away.
"It's a game we have to come out of with points," Cammalleri said. "Not good enough. I don't know what else to say. To give up a goal with 40 seconds left … really unacceptable with where we're sitting right now."
Anaheim was clinging to a 2-1 lead on Perry's 31stt goal at 7:41 of the second through a workman-like play by linemate Getzlaf to get the puck behind the net and feed Perry in the slot.
Anaheim committed took two early penalties and paid the price for the second one, a hooking call against Getzlaf. Curtis Glencross one-timed Olli Jokinen's pass from the lower left circle under Hiller's right pad for a power-play goal at 3:06 -- the ninth game in a row that the Ducks have given up the opening goal.
Glencross has goals in three straight games.
Ryan tied it at 5:58 when he took a great saucer pass from Teemu Selanne to finish off a 2-on-1 with Jay Bouwmeester defending. Selanne started the play when he nudged the puck past a defender and raced up ice to set up Ryan's 24th goal.
The highlight of the first might have been Luca Sbisa dropping Tom Kostopoulos with a right hand and Jarome Iginla and Francois Beauchemin reprising their fight from the 2006 playoffs.