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Previous Game: Ducks Rally in Third Period to Beat Flames

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
CALGARY -- The Anaheim Ducks didn't waste an opportunity to gain ground in the chase for a second straight Pacific Division title.

Andrew Cogliano scored the game-winner with 5:19 left in regulation and Jonas Hiller made 32 saves to lift Anaheim to a 3-2 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

With the victory, the Ducks -- who clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday -- pulled within two points of the idle San Jose Sharks for the top spot in the Pacific. Anaheim has two games at hand on San Jose. The Ducks (47-18-7) went over the 100-point mark and established a franchise best for doing so in 72 games. The previous best, 75 games, was set in the 2006-07 season, when the Ducks won the only Stanley Cup in franchise history.

"It was a big game for us because we need these points," said Ducks forward Mathieu Perreault. "We have a couple of games in hand [on San Jose]. We battled hard and found a way to win."

The Flames helped Anaheim's cause Monday by playing spoiler and beating the Sharks 2-1 in a shootout, but couldn't return the favor to San Jose two nights later.

Calgary led 2-1 heading into the third, but the Ducks got even at 5:32. Flames goaltender Karri Ramo made a blocker save on Sami Vatanen's point shot, but left the rebound for Mathieu Perreault, who fired it home for his 16th of the season to tie the game 2-2.

The goal increased Perreault's career-best point streak to six games.

"I’m getting all the bounces my way," said Perreault, who has six points (4g/2a) in that span. "I’m just happy and going with it. I’m having fun."

Cogliano completed the Ducks' comeback at 14:41. Ramo stopped Stephane Robidas' shot but kicked the rebound onto the stick of Cogliano, who put Anaheim ahead to stay with his career-high 21st goal of the season.

The goal came two minutes after he hit the post on a wrist shot from the high slot.

"We had a good effort tonight," said Cogliano. "It was a tight game, but we expected that. I thought we really showed what kind of team we are. It was a big win for us on this road trip."

A blocker save by Hiller on Mikael Backlund with 2:31 left and another on Mike Cammalleri with 34 seconds remaining helped preserve the win.

"There was some sloppy play in front of our net, but we never gave up," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "We kept coming. I thought in the second period, even though we were outscored 2-0, we had some great chances. It would’ve been a different game if we put them in."

After giving up three goals on five shots in just over 11 minutes of work before getting pulled in the 7-2 loss to the Flames two weeks ago, Hiller's body of work was much improved Wednesday.

He was sharp from the drop of the puck, first denying Brian McGrattan's deflection before using his pad to stuff Kevin Westgarth's short-side attempt in the opening minutes. Scoring chances off the sticks of Cammalleri and Matt Stajan were also handled by Hiller, who made 12 first-period stops.

Nick Bonino rewarded his efforts with 1:03 remaining in the period. With Ladislav Smid in the penalty box for an illegal check to the head of former Flames forward Tim Jackman, Bonino skirted into the Calgary zone and shifted to get TJ Brodie moving before beating Ramo over the glove for his 18th of the season to put Anaheim up 1-0.

In the second, it was Ramo's turn to shine.

After McGrattan scored his fourth of the season in career game No. 300 to tie the game 1-1 at 4:44, the Flames goaltender denied Rickard Rakell's one-timer off a cross-slot feed from Corey Perry near the midway mark of the period. He followed it up with his best sequence of the game a minute later, denying Bonino's in-close bid for his second goal of the night, then scrambling to his feet in time to blocker away Bryan Allen's blast from the point.

A toe save on Rakell's wraparound capped a 16-save effort in the period and allowed the Flames to take the lead with 25.5 seconds remaining before intermission. With the puck loose in the high slot, Smid faked a slap shot before spotting Jiri Hudler alone coming off the boards and feeding him for a one-timer that beat Hiller. Hudler's 16th of the season to put Calgary up 2-1 after 40 minutes.

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