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Inside The Game: Flames vs. Ducks

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

The Disneyland curse lives on.

Viktor Fasth made 33 save and 43-year-old Teemu Selanne scored the eventual game-winner late in the second period as the Anaheim Ducks trumped the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Calgary’s loss is their first in regulation this season and continues their dubious slump at the Honda Center having dropped 17 straight in Anaheim, posting an 0-12-5 record in that span.

Down 3-1 heading into the third period, the Flames fired 17 shots on Fasth and pulled to within one at 4:15 after Jiri Hudler deflected Kris Russell’s shot to cut the lead to 3-2.

The Flames continued to press, forcing Fasth to make an outstretched toe save off Lee Stempniak at 9:12 to rob him of his second of the night. The Anaheim goalie was equally good a minute later, getting his blocker on Russell’s wrist shot from the point.

With starting goaltender Joey MacDonald pulled for the extra attacker, the Flames pressed for another but couldn’t draw even, continuing the curse.

Looking to continue Calgary’s woes in Anaheim, the Ducks struck just 3:27 into the first period courtesy Dustin Penner. Former Calgary Hitmen captain Ryan Getzlaf broke into the Flames zone and fed a cross-ice pass through the slot to Penner on the far side, who made no mistake in beating MacDonald for a 1-0 lead.

The goal came just 15 seconds after Viktor Fasth denied Joe Colborne on a breakaway.

Kyle Palmieri extended Anaheim’s lead to two, collecting a turnover at the Calgary blue line and firing a shot by MacDonald’s blocker at 13:04.

Though Tim Jackman was assessed a 5-minute major and game misconduct for butt ending Sami Vananen late in the period, it was the Flames who capitalized.

Stripping the puck from Palmieri at the point on the ensuing power play, Stempniak broke in alone and squeaked the puck between Fasth’s legs to cut Anaheim’s lead to 2-1 with 3:29 remaining in the first frame.

Selanne restored the Ducks’ two-goal lead late in the second period, scoring his first of the year and 676th of his career. After swapping out a broken stick at the bench, Selanne was sprung by Jakob Silfverberg and beat MacDonald glove side to put Anaheim up 3-1.

Colborne thought he had brought Calgary back to within one a minute later, but his goal was waived off after the Flames pivot batted the puck behind Fasth with a high stick.

GOAL OF THE GAME

Down 2-0 and shorthanded for five minutes, Stempniak stripped the puck off Palmieri and went in alone on Fasth, beating the Ducks goaltender between the legs to pull the Flames to within one after 20 minutes of action.

SAVE OF THE GAME

On the ensuing power play with Chris Butler in the box for hooking six minutes into the second period, Palmieri one-timed a pass on MacDonald’s doorstep but was denied by the Flames goaltender.

TURNING POINT

Selanne converted on a breakaway for his first of the season at 16:35 of the second period, giving the Ducks enough of a cushion to hold off Calgary’s third period charge.

STAT OF THE GAME

Dennis Wideman played a season-high 29:35 against the Ducks, more than any other skater in the game. Mark Giordano was second, seeing 26:08 of ice.

LINEUP NOTES

Blair Jones and Derek Smith were scratched for the Flames in Anaheim. Mike Cammalleri (upper body), David Jones (upper body) and Matt Stajan (upper body) missed the game against the Ducks due to injury.

COMING UP

The Flames continue onto San Jose to tackle the Sharks on Saturday (8 p.m. MT, CBC) in their second of five games away from Scotiabank Saddledome.

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