ANAHEIM, Calif. – The road to victory always seems to be rocky for the Anaheim Ducks, but it somehow flattens out when the Calgary Flames are in town.
Anaheim blew a two-goal lead in for the second straight game, but Niklas Hagman scored in the eighth round of a shootout and Jonas Hiller sealed a 3-2 victory against Calgary on Monday night.
The victory denied Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff his 300th career victory, and extended Anaheim's home winning streak over Calgary to 14 games dating to Calgary's last win at Honda Center on Jan.19, 2004.
Hagman, a former Flame, wristed it past fellow Finn Kiprusoff, and Hiller stopped Mikael Backlund on a leave-behind move.
"Too bad I had to ruin it," Hagman said of Kiprusoff. "He's a world-class goalie and he gives a team a chance to win every night. He's had his ups and downs, too, but every goal has. But he always comes back … our goalie played unbelievably and so did theirs."
Anaheim moved to 10 points out of the final playoff spot in the West and 1-1-1 on a crucial four-game homestand that keeps its postseason hopes faintly alive.
"I think that's the most critical shootout we've ever been in," said Bobby Ryan, who scored his 20th goal in regulation and another in the shootout. "You could feel it on the bench, that's for sure."
Hiller stopped six of eight shootout attempts. Kiprusoff made 31 saves, including a huge stop on Teemu Selanne's shot off the post 24 seconds into overtime, and was beaten by Ryan, Hagman and Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry in the shootout.
"We had a couple of chances to win there," Kiprusoff said. "But it's not easy when their goalie makes big saves there. They had a good start, but I think the second period with our (score-tying) goal was huge. I thought we were able to push back. It's a good one point, but we had the chance to take two."
Kiprusoff said he never practiced shootouts against former teammate Hagman, but Hagman knew his tendencies.
"When guys went to shoot, he went to poke check a lot," Hagman said. "It was something that, you go in and kind of have something in your mind and then you, like, close your eyes and shoot."
Calgary had a great chance at the win when Jarome Iginla shot high on a 2-on-1 with Alex Tanguay with 2:01 to go in overtime.
Only Olli Jokinen and Blair Jones scored in the exhaustive shootout for the Flames.
"It's nerve-racking," Backlund said. "We wish we could have got it done after two, but we couldn't get the puck in and Kipper made some good saves and kept it going. It's too bad one of us couldn’t step up and score."
Calgary completed a comeback from 2-0 down on Iginla's breakaway goal that marked 13 straight 20-goal seasons.
Jokinen sprung Iginla, who beat Hiller short side at 6:15 with Luca Sbisa serving a five-minute illegal hit to the head penalty on Tim Jackman.
Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau was livid on the call.
"I didn't see a five-minute major," Boudreau said. "It was two heads accidentally colliding."
Anaheim had a golden chance to add to its 2-1 lead in the second when Jones committed a two-handed whack that bloodied Selanne for a double-minor high sticking penalty that put the Ducks on a 5-on-3 advantage for 96 seconds.
Saku Koivu hit a post and a crossbar and Kiprusoff made four saves. Anaheim's power play is an issue as it is 1-for-14 the past three games.
"You can't get better chances than we had, better looks than we had," Boudreau said. "We just didn't put it in. Whether Kiprusoff was making great saves or we were hitting the post, I thought it was a big turning point in the game, quite frankly. It sure gave them life."
Tanguay earlier closed Calgary to 2-1 with a tap-in from Jones just after a Calgary penalty expired as Anaheim was caught in a line change.
The Ducks' top line was due for a breakout and it sparked Anaheim to a 2-0 lead after the first period.
Ryan took a sneaky pass from Lubomir Visnovsky and snapped it in from the slot at 15:52 for his 20th goal. Perry was screening Kiprusoff on the play.
It marked Ryan's fourth straight 20-goal season, and it snapped a four-game goal-scoring drought for his line.
Matt Beleskey, promoted to the second line with Koivu and Selanne, notched his fourth goal with a tip of Sheldon Brookbank's point shot at 17:51.
Kiprusoff and Hiller each had key saves in the opening period. Kiprusoff kicked out Cam Fowler's shot with his right skate on a 2-on-1 and Hiller stopped Jokinen on a breakaway.