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Despite loss, Flames goalie Ramo shows top form

by Curtis Zupke / NHL.com

ANAHEIM -- Calgary Flames goaltender Karri Ramo briefly protested and hung around his crease as though he didn't want to leave the ice. He certainly had a lot more saves in him, judging from the first 60 minutes Sunday.

But Ramo's 44 saves weren't enough to keep the Flames alive in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks in Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round at Honda Center. Thirty-two of those saves were made after the first period.

Ramo was terrific late. He got a piece of Ryan Kesler's wrist shot from a steep angle in overtime and stopped Matt Beleskey on a partial breakaway. Ramo made six saves in overtime before he could do little to stop Corey Perry from punching in the puck from a scramble in front at 2:26. His frustration was evident while Anaheim celebrated.

"That just shows how much he cares," Calgary forward Joe Colborne said. "He was so incredible. This series, all year long, he's shown he's one of the top goalies. It's pretty exciting to know we have two No. 1-caliber goalies right now. He definitely showed that he's up in that top group."

Ramo, who took over the starting job from former Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller in Game 1 of this series, downplayed his performance in Game 5. But it was clear he was the only obstacle that prevented Anaheim from taking the lead earlier.

The Ducks outshot the Flames 12-1 to start the third period, and their third-period goal came on the power play.

"I guess it's luck," Ramo said. "It hit me today. But in order to win [against] this kind of team, in order to win a series in playoffs, you have to be able to give up less than three goals a game. That's the bottom line. I didn't succeed in that. [There are] a lot of things that I can do better, but overall I think it was all right."

Calgary coach Bob Hartley wasn't as modest when it came to Ramo, who finished the postseason with a 2.86 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.

"I think he's a reflection of our group," Hartley said. "He's a hard worker. He never quits on any shots. Whether it was [Ramo] or [Hiller], two goalies with two totally different personalities, but they gave us a great season. We've said all along we have two No. 1 goalies capable of winning us games, and I think they both proved it in the playoffs."

Ramo framed the elimination in the bigger picture after he took off his pads for the last time this season. The Flames were younger and smaller than the Ducks, but put up a stubborn resistance like they did all season. There was no shame in losing to Anaheim but it will be a long summer waiting for all their potential to grow again.

"It's a pretty bad feeling right now," Ramo said. "The way we were playing and battling, now it's over. I think everybody had a lot more to give, a lot more left. We gave everything, but right now it's really empty."

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