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Key saves and powerplay tallies bright spots in defeat to Ducks

by ALEX MEDINA @alex_medina5 /

Key saves and powerplay goals can be a recipe for playoff success.

It was two positives to take out of the Sunday night's 4-3 loss to the visiting Anaheim Ducks.

Brian Elliott did all he could to keep his team in the contest, making a handful of highlight-reel stops while at the other end of the ice, Kris Versteeg scored two big powerplay goals in the middle frame to get his team back in the game.

"We were getting out chanced 14 to four after two periods," head coach Glen Gulutzan said. "He (Elliott) was the reason why we had a chance to get a point."

Elliott was at his best in the second period, including denying Ducks leading scorer Ryan Getzlaf on what looked like an all-but-certain goal, until Elliott stretched out to make a left-pad save.

"That was a desperation play. That's what he's done all year," said Flames forward Troy Brouwer.

With Elliott doing his job of keeping the game close, the special teams unit did it's job in capitalizing on the man-advantage.

With seven powerplay goals in their last five games, it has continued to be a threat.

"Sometimes you just have to go back to basics and just shoot it," Versteeg said.

The Flames' formula for success with the extra man: set up in the zone and crash the net.

"(We) look for rebounds and look for plays off of those," said Versteeg. "Some of the best powerplays in the league do that really well and it's something we can take from them and its been working at times."





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