Miikka Kiprusoff was sensational but the Calgary Flames couldn't overcome a surging Anaheim Ducks team as they dropped the first game of their three-game road swing 3-2 in overtime at the Honda Center Wednesday.
Curtis Glencross, who had a goal, said that the Flames need to up the intensity level on the road.
"We have to be hungrier," he told Sportsnet after the game. "When we get the lead, we need to learn how to keep it."
He also gave Miikka Kiprusoff props.
"Our goalie kept us in there."
The Flames have now lost nine straight at the Honda Center. They get right back in action tomorrow in LA. Calgary hasn't swept Southern California since 1994.
Prior to the game, the Anaheim Ducks honoured veteran Teemu Selanne for surpassing Steve Rucchin in games played in the franchise. Selanne reached the record on Jan. 31 when he made his 617th appearance as a Duck. He also holds franchise records for all-time points, goals, power play goals, game-winning goals and plus/minus ratings.
"I've been very happy here so it's a big honour for me," said Selanne of the presentation.
Coming into the game, the Flames had a boost from a 6-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday. The victory bolstered the atmosphere around the locker room.
"We needed to get our confidence going, get our play going in the right direction," said Cory Sarich of what the win did to the mood of the team.
After a huge night against Montreal, Mike Keenan had Rene Bourque, Mike Cammalleri and Matthew Lombardi teamed up. On their first shift, Bourque was able to spin by Chris Pronger, get a shot on net and Cammalleri went just wide on the rebound.
Former Duck Todd Bertuzzi opened the scoring at 2:55 when he beat J.S. Gigeure low. Mark Giordano's shot was blocked and the rebound went right to an open Bertuzzi. Giordano and Daymond Langkow assisted on Bertuzzi's 14th of the year.
Bertuzzi credited Giordano for the work done on the goal.
"Gio tried to make a pass to the front of the net and it came to me."
Langkow probably breathed a sigh of relief after assisting on the goal. The steady centreman has been in a scoring slump and before this game, had only 2 assists in his last 10 games. Prior to that, he had 7 goals and 7 assists in 9 games.
George Parros and Andre Roy sqaured off a 5:23. Roy opened Parros up on Saturday afternoon and the Ducks tough guy was looking for a rematch to even things up. The well-spirited fight had hits from both players but Parros was able to take down Roy.
Kiprusoff made a amazing save on Pronger near the 8:00 mark of the first. Ryan Getzlaf found Pronger sneaking in and made a nice pass to the front of the net. Somehow, the Finnish netminder was able to slide to the front of the net and block Pronger's hard one-timer.
Getzlaf found himself in some trouble a few minutes later when he attempted to block Dion Phaneuf's shot from the boards. The puck hit Getzlaf in the leg hard and he didn't even attempt to get up after being hit. The crafty forward appeared to be in a lot of pain as his teammates helped him off the ice. He went immediately to the locker room but returned on the ensuing power play.
The Flames were not pleased that David Moss was called for goaltender interference after Getzlaf blocked the shot as the Flames forward was cross-checked in front of the net by Sheldon Brookbank. The check caused Moss to fall forward, knocking into Giguere.
The Flames penalty was only their fifth in four games against the Ducks this season.
Before the game, assistant coach Rich Preston said the key to containing the Ducks on the pwer play is clogging the lanes and not allowing the team to set up.
"If you don't let them set it up, they're not going to make those tic-tac-toe plays."
Calgary had their own scare right after the penalty to Moss had expired. Robyn Regehr caught the puck on the left-hand side of his face. He went straight to the dressing room to be looked at. He would return in the second period. He had a bruise on his left cheek and the makings of a black eye.
Eric Nystrom and Mike Brown let their frustrations flow over early in the second. Brown had went in for the hit on Nystrom but missed. Shortly after chatting about it the two let the fists fly. Nystrom got his arm free from his jersey and landed several hooks before losing his balance and hitting the ice. The fighting majors came at 3:18.
Big saves were being made at each end. In one sequence, Corey Perry split the defense, did a spin and sent a hard shot at the net. Kiprusoff had to be quick to get the pad down to make the save. At the other end, Bourque skated around Pronger for the second time in the game and shot the puck to the lower left of the net. Giguere was able to get his leg over to make the save just in the knick of time.
Phaneuf put the Flames back on the penalty kill at 10:03 when he was called for hooking Bobby Ryan. This time the Ducks made no mistake. Perry made the intial shot on the net and with Kiprusoff sprawled on the ice, Scott Niedermayer had a wide open net. The tying goal came at 10:30.
The first Flames power play came when Getzlaf was sent to the box for holding Cammalleri at 11:58. The man advantage was literally inches from getting the go-ahead goal but when a pass came to Iginla, who was waiting at the side of the net, he couldn't convert from foot to stick and missed the open cage.
The lack of production on the power play was quickly forgotten when Glencross fired the puck past Giguere at 14:17. Glencross one-timed a pass from Bourque so hard that it was difficult to see the puck go in as it bounced out quickly. Lombardi also picked up a helper on the tally.
Kiprusoff continued his mastery when he made a sensational save on Chris Kunitz. The Ducks left-winger thought he had an open net as Kiprusoff was knees in the center of the cage. Kunitz whacked at the puck but Kiprusoff slid his leg over just enough to knock the puck up high. Several Ducks had their hands in the air as Kunitz shot as they anticipated a goal.
Phaneuf laid a monster hit on Andrew Ebbett late in the period that sent the 26-year-old flying. Pronger went in immediately to defend Ebbett and ended up taking a roughing penalty because of it at 19:30.
The Flames started the final period on a power play but were unable to produce a goal. Shortly after the Pronger infraction had expired, the Ducks flew into the Flames zone. Brendan Morrison tied the game up with a snap shot that beat Kiprusoff through traffic at 2:05.
After Anaheim took a penalty for too many men, Phaneuf lost an edge and Scott Niedermayer got a breakaway. Iginla managed to get back enough to dive and make a great pokecheck to deny Niedermayer a shot. The power play was negated by Bertuzzi taking a boarding call in the offensive zone at 6:49.
Cammalleri found himself in an unusual spot half-way through the third when he was sent to the box for hooking at 9:42. The penalty kill looked solid again, especially Glencross who made several key moves to knock the puck out of the zone and keep it out.
The penalty killers had to be on their game in the third period as Giordano had to take a hooking call when Perry took advantage of a crazy hop and went in alone. The Ducks were able to get two shots on net but they had several chances that missed.
The third period wound down with chances for both squads. The Flames got a late power play when Brett Hedican was called for interference and then in the dying seconds, Pronger slapped a shot through a crowd that was directly on net.
Sarich and Kunitz took roughing calls at the end of regulation so overtime started with 3-on-3 hockey. Bourque, Regehr and Aucoin started the five minute period for the Flames.
The Ducks ended it 55 seconds into the frame when Scott Niedermayer scored his second of the night. He came in between Phaneuf and Giordano, took a pass from Todd Marchant and backhanded off the post and in.
While the loss is disappointing, the Flames were able to gain a point out of the game. That point is necessary as the Oilers and the Wild picked up wins tonight.
Glencross said the Flames needed to simply move on and concentrate on their game against the red-hot Kings.
"We have to go in there and play our game. We've got to find a way to get it done."