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game recap

Ducks overpower Flames, take first place in Pacific

Anaheim wins 23rd straight game vs. Calgary at Honda Center

by Abbey Mastracco / Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks moved into first place in the Pacific Division, tied an NHL record and had their biggest offensive night of the season in an 8-3 victory against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday at Honda Center.

Jakob Silfverberg scored twice and the Ducks (43-23-10) got goals from Corey Perry, Brandon Pirri, Jamie McGinn, Shea Theodore, Nate Thompson and Ryan Kesler, who had a career-high four points. In all, 15 of Anaheim's 18 skaters had at least one point.

Anaheim has 96 points, one more than the Los Angeles Kings, who host the Flames on Thursday. The Ducks play the Vancouver Canucks on Friday at Honda Center.

Anaheim is 5-1-1 in its past seven games and a League-best 31-8-4 since the Christmas break.

Video: CGY@ANA: Ducks collect eight goals in win over Flames

"With the start we had, no one expected us to be where we're at right now," Silfverberg said of taking first place in the division. "We've been doing some good things lately. We've been playing good hockey. There's a big benefit being first."

The loss was the Flames' 23rd straight at Honda Center, where Calgary (32-39-6) hasn't won since Jan. 19, 2004. It matches the NHL record for the longest home winning streak by one team against another; the Philadelphia Flyers won 23 consecutive home games against the Pittsburgh Penguins from Feb. 17, 1980, to Jan. 29, 1987.

Calgary native Hunter Shinkaruk scored his first NHL goal and defensemen Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie also scored for the Flames.

"You give them a few freebies from the start, and you know it's going to be a long game," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "Our goalies had a tough night. Nothing to take away from the Ducks, but in order to beat them you need a few saves here and there."

Video: CGY@ANA: Perry gives Ducks an early lead in the 1st

The Ducks chased former Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller less than seven minutes into the game by scoring three times on their first five shots.

"As much as I wanted him to have a great game against his former team, I don't think that it was meant to be," Hartley said. "They scored those three quick goals, and at the same time we're coaching a full team here so you need to think of the goalies but you need to think about the rest of the bench. We thought that making a change, we thought we would give ourselves a chance to get back in the game."

The Ducks followed their plan against Hiller, their former teammate, by coming out strong.

"We wanted to do that," coach Bruce Boudreau said of setting the tone early in the game. "It was the best thing that could've happened to us. It was against a goalie who hadn't played in a long time. To get to him early, we knew his confidence would be shaken. To get that 3-0 lead, the way the next 30 minutes went, was important."

Video: CGY@ANA: Pirri rifles a slap shot past Hiller

Perry made it 1-0 just 57 seconds into the game, extending his point streak to a season-high five games with his third goal in that span. Ryan Getzlaf found Perry all alone in front of the net; Perry waited until Hiller dove and put the puck over him, off the crossbar and into the net.

Getzlaf finished with two assists and has 61 points; it's his sixth season with at least 60 points.

Silfverberg scored at 4:00 and Brandon Pirri got his second since being acquired from the Florida Panthers before the NHL Trade Deadline at 6:51, giving the Ducks a 3-0 lead. Hiller was replace by Niklas Backstrom, who allowed five goals on 22 shots.

McGinn made it 4-0 at 21 seconds of the second period when he snagged his own rebound and beat Backstrom with a backhand. Anaheim went up 5-0 at 5:30 when Theodore, a rookie defenseman, scored his third NHL goal.

Video: CGY@ANA: Shinkaruk's first of career comes on PP

The Ducks changed goaltenders at 8:28 after John Gibson collided with Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm. Calgary scored three times on five shots against Frederik Andersen before Gibson returned to play the third period.

"He had a minor little hurt," Boudreau said. "At 5-0, nothing we thought, 'OK, let's make a change.' Then when they got three quick ones we realized that Freddie wasn't sharp tonight and we put [Gibson] back in."

Shinkaruk made it 5-1 at 13:47 when he got his stick on Giordano's power-play point shot and redirected it past Andersen. It was a bittersweet moment he'll never forget in a game his team would prefer not to remember.

"It was off the draw. I just tried to find my spot in the middle there," Shinkaruk said. "I made a good shot and I was lucky enough to tip it. It was really cool."

Video: CGY@ANA: Slifverberg slides in a rebound

Thompson scored 19 seconds later, his first of the season. Giordano then made it 6-2 at 15:25.

Kesler's power-play goal at 18:47 gave the Ducks a 7-2 lead before Brodie scored with 14 seconds left to cap a seven-goal period.

Despite the lopsided number on the scoreboard, the Ducks weren't happy with their defensive play in the second half of the period.

"In those six minutes we didn't defend, we were pretty upset at ourselves," Boudreau said. "That's what happens when you're playing a team with a lot of kids. We'll get an eye-opener next week."

Video: CGY@ANA: McGinn grabs rebound, fires in backhand

Silfverberg scored his 10th goal in nine games at 13:08 of the third period.

With six games left, including visit to Los Angeles on April 7, the Ducks want to keep building momentum toward a playoff push.

"We've been known to focus on the defensive part first; we kind of got away from that in the second period," Silfverberg said. "We made sure, in the intermission, to tell each other we have to get back to playing the way we want to be playing heading into the playoffs."

Video: Ducks get off to a quick start in win over Flames

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