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Flames fall in Anaheim on Wednesday

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

-- Disneyland isn’t getting any happier for the Calgary Flames.

Ryan Kesler had a career-high four points, and Jakub Silfverberg had two goals to power the Anaheim Ducks to an 8-3 win against the Flames at Honda Center.

Hunter Shinkaruk, Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie scored, and Jonas Hiller and Niklas Backstrom combined to make 19 saves in the loss for Calgary.

"It’s really disappointing right from the start of the game," Flames captain Mark Giordano said. "I felt like it was one of those nights where we gave them a little too much time and space. They put pucks to the net and pucks were bouncing in everywhere. We have to be for sure harder and tighter on them.

"We gave them too much time and space."

Fifteen of 18 skaters had points for the Ducks, who have won 23 consecutive regular-season games against the Flames in Anaheim. Calgary is 0-18-5 since a 5-1 win against the Mighty Ducks on Jan. 19, 2004. The run matches the NHL’s longest winless streak in a road rink set by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who suffered 23 straight losses at the Spectrum in Philadelphia from 1980-87.

The Ducks waited all of 57 seconds to continue the Flames’ misery.

After knocking down Ryan Getzlaf’s dump towards the net, Corey Perry outwaited a sprawling Hiller before lifting a shot into the upper portion of the net to take a 1-0 lead. The goal came on the Anaheim’s first shot on net.

Silfverberg doubled the lead 3:03 later, and Brandon Pirri chased Hiller at 6:51 with a wrister from the high slot to put the Ducks up 3-0. Hiller faced five shots.

"It’s tough but at the same time looking at the three goals it seemed it would be one of those nights where the puck just doesn’t get to the goalie, it always seems to find a way around the goalie and there is no sense for me (to leave him in)," Hartley said. "As much as I wanted him to have a great game against his former team, I don’t think that it was meant to be."

The Flames limited the Ducks to just three more shots to finish the first, but Anaheim’s first shot of the second period beat Backstrom. Jamie McGinn followed up his own blocked shot and swatted a rebound by the Flames goaltender 21 seconds in to put the Ducks up 4-0.

Anaheim got to Backstrom again with its 11th shot. After taking a pass from Andrew Cogliano off the rush, Shea Theodore chipped a backhand over Backstrom at 5:30 to extend the lead to 5-0. The Flames challenged that Silfverberg was offside on the play, but an inconclusive video review upheld the goal.

John Gibson left the game at 8:28 after a collision with Ducks defenceman Hampus Lindholm, and Shinkaruk scored on the second shot backup Frederik Andersen faced. Shinkaruk deflected Giordano’s point shot by the Anaheim’s reliever to net his first NHL goal at 13:47.

"It was just kind of off the draw. I just tried to find my spot in the middle there," Shinkaruk said. "Gio made a good shot and I was lucky enough to tip it. It was really cool. It’s a moment I’ll never forget."

Nate Thompson scored his first of the season 19 seconds later, but Giordano snapped a shot through traffic and under Andersen’s pad at 15:25 to cut the lead to four.

The goal was Giordano's 20th of the season, a mark held by only four other defenceman in Flames franchise history. Giordano joins Al Macinnis, Gary Suter, Paul Reinhart and Dion Phaneuf as the only other blueliners to reach the 20-goal plateau in a season.

"That’s why he’s our captain, he’s our leader. He carries the flag," Hartley said. "When we talk about culture, the name of Mark Giordano always comes up right at the top of the list because you know that he is going to keep us going. Look at tonight’s game, he was one of the guys that was right in front of all the battles and that’s what we need. We need to show our young players that’s the way to play and that’s the way to prepare to become a winning hockey club and we can’t have a better leader than Gio."

Both teams traded goals again late in the period. Kesler slid a rebound by Backstrom’s pad at 18:47, and Brodie snapped a rebound off Dougie Hamilton’s point shot by both Andersen and Clayton Stoner with 14 seconds remaining in the period to trim the lead back to 7-3.

Gibson returned to start the third, and Silfverberg added his second to extend Anaheim’s lead to five. Kesler’s wraparound attempt landed on the stick of McGinn, who had his initial attempt stopped by Backstrom before Silfverberg tapped in the third try at 13:08.

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