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Ducks hang on, improve to 2-0 with win over Flames

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- In the opening week of the season, the Anaheim Ducks have shown they aren't afraid to get offensive.

They'll look to work on making sure it sticks, though.

On the heels of a seven-goal outburst in Anaheim's season-opener against the Vancouver Canucks, the Ducks struck five times but choked away a three-goal first period lead. However, Daniel Winnik's second goal of the night broke a 3-3 tie and Ryan Getzlaf's insurance tally – his second goal of the game -- in the third period proved to be the game-winner and assured the Ducks of another two points as they earned a 5-4 victory against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday night.

"Those are character things you've got to build," Getzlaf said. "Not every game is going to be a cakewalk. As long as you can put your best foot forward most of the time and put an honest effort in we came out on top."

Signed by the Ducks in July, Winnik has set the pace offensively for Anaheim scoring four of the Ducks' 12 goals on the season.

"I told you he's on a 96-goal pace," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He's done nothing to stop it, so keep him going."

But while Winnik's scoring at an impressive clip, it was Getzlaf's goal with 8:45 remaining that stood up to be the winner. Nursing a 4-3 lead, Getzlaf banged home the loose puck laying just outside Miikka Kiprusoff's crease to give the Ducks a comfortable two-goal edge.

That two-goal lead was short-lived. After taking a stretch pass from TJ Brodie, Lee Stempniak broke in and beat Anaheim starter Jonas Hiller to the blocker to make it 5-4 with 5:56 left in the game.

Pressing with the net empty, the Flames weren't able to beat Hiller a fifth time.

Anaheim picked up where it left off Saturday in Vancouver, striking early in the first.

Thwarted on a nifty end-to-end rush to gain the zone, Getzlaf then redirected a Toni Lydman point shot behind Kiprusoff just 66 seconds from the drop of the puck.

After Saku Koivu put the Ducks up by two, Winnik gave the visitors a 3-0 edge with his third of the season at 7:23, beating Kiprusoff with a soft wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle.

"The first 15 minutes were textbook," Boudreau said. "We did what we wanted or what our game plan was. I think we had them 7-2 in shots and we had a 3-0 lead – should've been 4-0 if Corey (Perry) doesn't hit the crossbar on the power play."

Calgary would answer back on just its third shot late in the period.

With Lydman in the penalty box for cross checking, Curtis Glencross tipped Dennis Wideman's point shot from the top of the blue paint to cut the lead to 3-1 at 16:54.

The Flames were able to close the gap to one before the period let out after a broken play by Jarome Iginla left Alex Tanguay alone in the slot with the puck. Tanguay fired a shot that beat Hiller to the blocker with 25.4 seconds left in the period.

Carrying a power play over into the second, Glencross struck again, deflecting a Michael Cammalleri shot behind Hiller at 1:13 to even the game 3-3.

"They came out after the first period saying, ‘Geez, we're only down one,'" Boudreau said. "They came out, we sagged, they tied it up and I thought after they tied it up we got our bearings a little bit, but we weren't playing good."

Calgary continued to buzz in the second, directing 14 shots in total on Hiller, but couldn't break the tie. Reeling, the Ducks managed just three shots before regrouping in the third.

"I though our second period was god awful so it couldn't get any worse," Boudreau said. "I just said we want to be known as a third-period team. That's how you gain reputations. I thought we outplayed Vancouver in the third period last game and I thought we outplayed Calgary in the third period this game. It's something you build on and you gain confidence at. If you can keep doing that, it'll be pretty good."

The Ducks limited Calgary to just six shots in the final 20 minutes of the game, dropping the club to 0-2-0 on the season. Despite being winless, Flames coach Bob Hartley was content with the effort put forth by his club.

"I'm real happy the way we bounced back," he said. "That's one thing that I can't fault this team on — the way that we work. We're relentless."

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