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Flames pass Pacific Division test in win over Anaheim

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

We came in this week thinking with these tough teams we're playing, we wanted to see where we, what kind of measuring stick we had against these guys, and we came through and had a big third period. Dennis Wideman

CALGARY, AB -- If the Anaheim Ducks are the test, the Calgary Flames had the answer key. It just took them a while to find it.

Struggling through the opening 40 minutes against the Pacific Division leading Ducks, Calgary responded with a dominant third period and overtime in a 4-3 shootout win against Anaheim at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.

“Suddenly in the third period, we got that goal and the bench just rose up and suddenly we got some legs and were making plays and forechecking and we saw our team again,” coach Bob Hartley said. “In the third period and overtime, we played Flames hockey.

“What a great win.”

Calgary generated little through the first two periods, directing just seven shots on Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen. It allowed Anaheim to take a 2-0 lead courtesy Sami Vatanen’s first period marker and another from Matt Beleskey in the second.

The Flames woke up in the third.

Jiri Hudler’s sixth of the season just 3:25 in was matched by back-to-back one timers off the stick of Dennis Wideman at 9:03 and 13:43 to take a one-goal lead. Kyle Palmieri’s late period marker forced overtime, where Calgary continued to roll.

It carried over into the shootout where Johnny Gaudreau and Ryan Kesler traded goals before Sean Monahan’s overtime marker stood as the winner.

One in which Calgary measured up when it mattered most.

“It was big for us,” Wideman said. “We came in this week thinking with these tough teams we're playing, we wanted to see where we, what kind of measuring stick we had against these guys, and we came through and had a big third period.

“It was big for us and it was big for our confidence.”

It came on a big night, too.

Tuesday’s game marked Peter Maher night, honouring the longtime voice of the Calgary Flames who called 2,954 Flames games.

Maher’s career spanned over four decades and he was voice of the Flames since the 1981-82 season. He was honoured by the Hockey Hall of Fame as the winner of the 2006 Foster Hewett Memorial Award and as a native of Campbellton, New Brunswick, was also inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.

Maher has called World Championship games, six NHL All-Star games, the Stanley Cup Finals in 1980, 1986, 1989 and 2004 and the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The win, Hartley declared, was for Maher.

“Tonight, Peter Maher's night, was like a big family party and obviously for the first 40 minutes, we didn't receive the invitation,” Hartley started. “We were not very good, we were not on the puck and we were not skating.

“I’d like to dedicate this win to Peter Maher. He was so good to us. Whether he was in the rink, at the hotel, or on the plane; Peter Maher was a class act and we certainly learned a lot from him.”

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