ANAHEIM - The record officially shows Calgary Sports and Entertainment as the proprietors of the franchise, but it's hard to argue against the Anaheim Ducks owning the Calgary Flames.
Anaheim's 4-1 victory tonight at Honda Center was an astounding 24th straight regular season win at home against the Flames (dating back to April 4, 2004), establishing a new NHL record. The Ducks came into tonight tied for the top mark with the Philadelphia Flyers, who defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 23 straight times on home ice from Feb. 17, 1980 through Jan. 29, 1987.
The Ducks' success against the Flames isn't limited to Honda Center, as the Ducks have gone 20-4-2 against Calgary over the past five seasons. The Pacific Division rivals play four more times this season.
"We kinda struggled at home. We disappointed ourselves and let our fans down for a couple of games," said Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner, who had the game's first goal. "Now we've come back and redeemed ourselves. We've built some confidence in here. We've scored some goals and guys are feeling a little bit better about themselves."
In addition to extending their reign of dominance over the Flames, the Ducks also earned standings points for the seventh time in the last nine games in improving to 6-5-2. Calgary came into this one having been roughed up last night in LA, suffering a 5-0 loss to the Kings.
"I credit their hockey club with what happened to their group last night," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. "For the first 10 minutes, we kinda had our way, but after that it was back and forth. I'd say they were a better hockey club than we were in parts of tonight's hockey game."
The Ducks, who got two goals from Ryan Kesler and three assists from Ryan Getzlaf tonight, went in front early and hardly looked back, scoring just 2:29 after the opening draw. A pinching Stoner jumped on a bouncing puck just outside the crease and sent it netward for his first goal since exactly one year ago today.
Video: CGY@ANA: Stoner opens the scoring on a quick put-back
"It was just one of those plays where I was at a fortunate place at the right time," Stoner said. "Perry took it to the net and the rebound popped out. I'm not exactly a goal scorer, so any time you can help out, it's good. I don't think I'll turn into a goal scorer every night."
Calgary did knot it up with 3:45 left in the period when Sean Monahan picked up a rebound and fed Johnny Gaudreau for the one-timer that deflected in off the chest of Alex Chiasson inside the crease. But it was the only scoring they would do tonight, as Anaheim goalie Jonathan Bernier stopped the rest of their 26 shots.
Anaheim went back on top for good on the power play, as Getzlaf fed down low to Corey Perry, who lost the handle, but Kesler was there to punch it in from the top of the crease. Getzlaf and winger Nick Ritchie each returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with upper body injuries.
Andrew Cogliano made it 3-1 Ducks in thrilling fashion a few minutes later, firing a shot on a 2-on-1 rush and then burying the rebound top shelf while falling to the ice.
Video: CGY@ANA: Cogliano scores while falling to the ice
A second power-play goal gave the Ducks a three-goal lead with 6:29 left, as Perry tapped a hard Getzlaf pass toward the top of the crease, and Kesler banged it home for his second of the night. With his third assist, Getzlaf tied Teemu Selanne for the all-time franchise lead in assists with 531.
"That's a pretty big accomplishment in this league," Getzlaf said. "To be mentioned in the same group with a guy like that is a pretty big thing for me. Teemu is a good friend, and I'm honored to be a part of that."
As part of this evening's Military Appreciation Night, the Ducks wore camouflage jerseys during the pregame warm-up, which will be autographed and made available in an online auction at AnaheimDucks.com/auction. Just prior to the start of the game, members of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command and U.S Special Forces Soldiers from Special Operations Detachment - North rappelled from the Honda Center rafters to join Military Police Patrol/Explosive Detector Dog, Corporal Nero and Military Police K-9 Handler, Lance Corporal Brandon C. Benningfield for the honorary puck drop. Corporal Nero dropped the puck from his mouth in front of Getzlaf and Flames captain Mark Giordano.
Video: CGY@ANA: Bomb-sniffing dog drops the puck
Tonight was the last game in a span of two straight weeks in Southern California for the Ducks, who hit the road for a three-game trip that starts with Wednesday night's game in Columbus.
"This league is all about stringing things together," Getzlaf said. "Every time you win one, you want to go back to back. We've done that now, and have to go out on the road and get some wins."