ANAHEIM - They say all good things must come to an end, and for the Anaheim Ducks tonight that meant one of the more extraordinary streaks in all of pro sports.
Anaheim's 2-0 loss to the Calgary Flames at Honda Center finally broke an NHL-record string of 25 consecutive regular season home games over Calgary, the league's longest home winning streak against one opponent. It was the first regular season loss at home to the Flames since - remarkably - Jan. 19, 2004. The Ducks had won nine of their last 10 regular season games vs. Calgary dating to Nov. 24, 2015 (9-1-0).
The Ducks have also won seven straight home games and seven of eight home games overall in three playoff series with the Flames dating back to 2006.
But unlike in so many of those victories, the Ducks came up empty on a bevy of scoring chances (including 0 for 6 on the power play) in dropping to 1-1-1 on the young season. Calgary goalie Mike Smith, who faced the Ducks for the first time as a member of the Flames, was outstanding in earning the fourth shutout vs. Anaheim in his career (which included stints in Dallas, Tampa Bay and Arizona).
"That's a team that's desperate out here, I'm sure," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, who has been a part of nearly all of those victories. "They haven't won in our building in a long time. Every time they come in here, they play with energy. They play hard. We just had to match that tonight, and I don't think we did a good enough job."
The Ducks did get Getzlaf back for the first time this season, but still are without injured regulars Ryan Kesler, Patrick Eaves, Nick Ritchie, Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen. That leaves Anaheim without a significant amount of firepower, though they were able to amass 43 shots on goal and 35 more that were either blocked or went wide of the net.
"I don't know if we did a good enough job getting in there for second and third opportunities," Getzlaf said. "We directed a lot of pucks at the net, but I don't think we had any rebound opportunities until the third period."
After nearly 36 1/2 minutes of scoreless hockey, Calgary got on the board first on the power play, a tic-tac-toe sequence that drew goalie John Gibson out of position and allowed Sean Monahan to score from the slot.
Calgary inserted the dagger 6:19 into the third period, surviving a flurry of Ducks scoring chances before shuttling the puck into the Anaheim zone, where Mikael Backlund roofed a shot just under the crossbar.
"We had chances," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We created a lot more chances in the second half of the game versus the first half of the game. That's been our Achilles heel in these last three games. We haven't had a start we could be proud of."
Desperate attempts to get back in the game were thwarted by Smith and the Calgary defense, which blocked 16 shots (seven alone by defenseman Mark Giordano).
"We weren't crisp," said Ducks winger Corey Perry, who had two goals on Opening Night, but hasn't scored in the two games since. "Our game is moving the puck, skating, getting in on the forecheck and banging bodies. We haven't really consistently done that yet. It's a work in progress."
The Ducks complete their season-opening four-game homestand Wednesday vs. the Islanders.