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April 21, 2006

Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 1, Calgary Flames 2 FINAL 1st OT
FINAL 1st OT 1 2 3 1st OT T
Anaheim   0 0 1 0 1
Calgary   0 1 0 1 2
Scoresheet Super Stats
300K|700K
Boxscore Faceoffs Play-by-Play
Shift Chart Rosters TOI - ANA|CGY
D. MCCARTY
Scored the game winner

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M. KIPRUSOFF
Game winning goaltender

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CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - Darren McCarty showed the poise of a player with 151 NHL playoff games on his resume.

McCarty scored 9:45 into overtime to give the Calgary Flames a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Friday night in the opening game of their Western Conference playoff series.

He skated freely into the Ducks zone and one-timed a pass from Kristian Huselius past goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, a surprise starter for the Mighty Ducks.

"The best thing about the playoffs is a lot of the times, different guys get to step up and share the limelight for a night," McCarty said. "Your studs and your top guys are going to usually get it as they deserve it most of the time. But it's nice to chip in when you can."

McCarty is in his first season with the Flames after spending his other 11 NHL seasons as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.

"I've been fortunate to be in the right spot at the right time in my career," McCarty said. "You're not going to get too many, but if you get the timely ones, that's what counts. Guys chip in different ways on this team and I'm just happy to chip in."

Game 2 of the best-of-seven will be in Calgary on Sunday night.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Anaheim's No. 1 goalie, practiced in the morning but missed the game with a lower-body injury. Bryzgalov was solid in his place, finishing with 28 saves.

"Obviously it was a tough game for Giggy to stay out, but we move on," said Anaheim forward Teemu Selanne, who had a team-high five shots. "We didn't expect to win both here. We just have to get ready for Sunday and do a couple things better and it's our game."

Tony Amonte scored in the second period for the Flames, and Jeff Friesen got Anaheim even in the third with a strange goal at 5:17.

"Its a big win and it feels good, but we know we need to get better and we know it's going to get tougher," Flames captain Jarome Iginla said.

Breaking down the wing, Rob Niedermayer's attempted pass deflected off the stick of Calgary defenseman Roman Hamrlik and sailed toward the Flames net. Friesen batted it out of the air and knocked it past Miikka Kiprusoff.

It was only Friesen's second goal in 18 games for the Mighty Ducks since being acquired from Washington at the trade deadline.

Opening the playoffs at home for the first time since 1995, Calgary took the ice to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd.

Bryzgalov had started only one of the Ducks' final 14 regular-season games, but he didn't look rusty.

Calgary ran up a 7-0 advantage on the shot clock in the game's first 10 minutes, but the 25-year-old Russian Olympian was equal to the task. One of Bryzgalov's best stops came early when he jabbed out a pad to thwart Byron Ritchie from the top of the crease after the Flames center was set up by Chris Simon.

"All the games he played in the regular season, he did his job well," Selanne said. "We have lots of confidence in him, too, and that's a good sign."

The Flames took a 1-0 lead at 6:17 of the second period.

Deep in his own end, Selanne attempted to fire the puck around the end boards but the clearing attempt was intercepted by Iginla.

Iginla zipped a pass in front that caromed off the skate of Flames forward Matthew Lombardi and went straight to a wide open Amonte, who beat Bryzgalov with a low shot for his 21st career playoff goal.

Kiprusoff was brilliant through the first two periods as Calgary held the lead after 40 minutes despite being outshot 24-17.

"The result is the biggest negative," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "Our effort was good, we had chances, but we just didn't bury the puck."

Selanne was the most dangerous player on the ice but wasn't able to solve his Finnish countryman despite numerous good scoring chances. He had a breakaway 2 minutes into the second period that Kiprusoff stopped with a pad.

"Without Kiprusoff, this game should be over after two periods," Selanne said.

Calgary and Anaheim are the last two teams to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup finals. The Flames lost in seven games to Tampa Bay in 2004 and the Ducks fell to New Jersey the year before in a series that also went the distance.

Notes: Backing up Bryzgalov was 26-year-old Nathan Marsters, who was recalled from Portland of the AHL. ... McCarty played in his team-leading 151st postseason game. Stephane Yelle ranks second at 135 games. Four Flames (Huselius, Dion Phaneuf, Jamie Lundmark and Ritchie) appeared in their first career playoff game. ... At 147 games, D Scott Niedermayer leads Anaheim in postseason experience. Including Bryzgalov, nine Mighty Ducks made their playoff debut. ... Calgary entered having lost its playoff opener eight consecutive times. This was the Flames' first opening win since 1988 when they beat the Los Angeles Kings 9-2.

Other games on April 21, 2006

Three star selections:
1st:   DARREN MCCARTY
2nd:   MIIKKA KIPRUSOFF
3rd:   ILJA BRYZGALOV
Winning Goaltender:
MIIKKA KIPRUSOFF
Losing Goaltender:
ILJA BRYZGALOV


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