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Loss to Ducks in Game 1 proves costly for Flames

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

Guys have got to step up. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. Everybody’s got to go back tonight, take a look in the mirror and know they’ve got to give a lot more.Matt Stajan

ANAHEIM, CA -- A 6-1 loss in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Anaheim Ducks might have cost the Calgary Flames more than a shot at an early lead.

It might have cost the Flames Micheal Ferland.

It could’ve cost Calgary Jiri Hudler, too.

“Hudler and [Ferland], they’re both day-to-day,” Flames coach Bob Hartley declared following the opener of the best-of-7 series. “We will re-evaluate them tomorrow.”

Neither returned after leaving Game 1 due to injury.

“You can't focus on that in playoffs,” Sean Monahan said. “We're a team here, we stick together, and if a guy goes down, you've got to find a way to step up and fill that role.”

Ferland left the lopsided loss after the first period, skating just seven shifts and totaling 5:24 of ice time.

Hudler took 12 shifts before leaving the game at four-minute mark of the second period. He skated just 6:59.

Neither was around by the time the buzzer let out a final ring to signal the end of the game and put Calgary behind 1-0 in the series.

“We’ve got to figure something out,” Flames centre Matt Stajan said. “Guys will step up. We’re down 1-0. Obviously it wasn’t a pretty game but we’re down 1-0 in the series. To a man we can be better. Everybody’s got to be better. Everybody’s got to fill in if guys aren’t able to go. Someone’s got to come in and do a job.

"That’s the way it’s been all year for our team. We’ve been missing our best player for the last 20 games and the first round and we’ve managed to find a way. It’s no different now.

“Guys have got to step up. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. Everybody’s got to go back tonight, take a look in the mirror and know they’ve got to give a lot more.”

At times, Calgary was limited to three lines. Other moments had Hartley using just eight forwards.

Johnny Gaudreau didn’t take a third period shift.

Unlike Ferland and Hudler, it wasn’t a result of injury.

It was about preventing one.

“I just rested Johnny,” Hartley said. “I felt that they were taking way too many liberties on him. I felt that at the score, I just kept him on the bench.”

The game physically taxed the Flames. It might’ve pushed Calgary mentally, too.

By the time Ferland exited the game in the first intermission, Anaheim had posted a 2-0 lead.

By the time Hudler was officially ruled out for a return, the Ducks extended their edge to four.

By the time the puck drops on Game 2, the Flames hope to have reset.

“It’s the playoffs. It wasn’t a surprise to us that they were going to come out like that,” Stajan said. “Obviously they’re a bigger team than Vancouver but everybody’s finishing their checks this time of year. I think with the score, maybe people will look at that more but at the end of the day we’ve just got to be better. There’s not much else to say.

“The deeper you get the stiffer the competition you get. That team hasn’t lost a playoff game. They’re a big team and they play hard and they take it to the net. They were a lot more ready for tonight than we were. As you could, see the score wasn’t pretty.

“We regroup now. We put this one behind us and learn from it and get ready for Sunday.”

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