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Flames' home streak ends in shutout loss to Ducks

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- Shawn Horcoff scored, and John Gibson made 14 saves to help the Anaheim Ducks to a 1-0 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday, ending Calgary's franchise-record home winning streak at 11.

Gibson has three shutouts in 11 starts for the Ducks (14-15-6), who have allowed 27.7 shots per game, tied with the Montreal Canadiens for the third fewest in the NHL.

"It was really good," Gibson said. "We had a game plan to try to clog up the neutral zone, try to slow them down. We did a pretty good job of it tonight."

The win opens a three-game road trip against Pacific Division opponents for the Ducks, who visit the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday and the Vancouver Canucks on Friday.

"The calm guy would say it's just one game, but it was a pretty big game," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "The difference in these divisional games, these four-point games … it gets tough to make up games and make up points. You have to do it when you're able to do it. For a team, again, that had a franchise-record 11 wins in a row, you knew they weren't going to take anything lightly. We had to battle as hard as we could to get this game."

Karri Ramo made 20 saves for the Flames (17-17-2), who had not lost at home since Oct. 30. Calgary, which will play five of its next six games at home, will conclude a four-game homestand Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings.

"Any time you give up one (goal), you're hoping to win the game, but it was one of those games where you could tell right from the start of the game … any time we had control in the neutral zone, they weren't going to force; they were just going to try and stop us at their blue line," Flames captain Mark Giordano said.

Horcoff scored at 12:36 of the second period to put Anaheim up 1-0. From below the goal line, Rickard Rakell passed the puck to Horcoff, who one-timed a sharp-angled shot over Ramo's glove.

"I got a late change there, and [Rakell] had possession behind the net," Horcoff said. "I just tried to come in, find some open ice, came a little tight and then backed up. He made a good pass, and fortunately it went in. I knew [Ramo] was tight to the net. I took a quick look before he passed it out. I was just trying to get it far side."

After allowing four shots in the first, Anaheim outshot Calgary 11-3 in the second.

"I think in the second, the coaches came in and said they had seven or eight chances, and that's not good enough," Flames defenseman Kris Russell said. "I don't think we had one. They probably had a lot more zone time than we did. We had a good push in the third, but we can't wait. Against a team like this, you've got to have a full 60 (minutes), and we didn't have it."

The Flames went 13:01 between Russell's 62-foot slap shot at 11:13 of the second and TJ Brodie's 54-foot wrist shot 4:14 into the third, and Sam Bennett hit the crossbar at 11:47 after going inside-out around Ducks defenseman Kevin Bieksa.

"Sometimes it's tough," Gibson said. "You see a team when they're playing that well in front of me, it motivates you to be ready when your name is called."

The Flames had two shots on a power play that started with 5:54 remaining, but they couldn't beat Gibson, and with Ramo on the bench for the extra attacker in the final 1:30 and a power play for the last 17.2 seconds, they couldn't generate a shot.

"We started to bend a little bit in the third, but that comes with they added a lot more pressure," Boudreau said. "That's the norm. Any team with the lead, you don't want to sit back. I still think we defended really well. We got the saves when we needed. We got a lucky break if they missed the net. At the same time, I thought we were really strong on the bench, because there was so much juggling of line changes there that we did a really good job."

The teams combined for 10 shots in the first period, and each team's best chance to score came early in the period.

On his second shift of the game, Johnny Gaudreau faked a drop pass when crossing with Sean Monahan in the slot and sent a shot that Gibson got a shoulder on at 2:52. Ryan Kesler intercepted a Giordano outlet pass in front of Ramo less than two minutes later, but the Flames goaltender stopped him from nine feet out.

"It is frustrating," Giordano said. "We were right in the game the whole game. We were in a little bit of a rut in the second (period) when we couldn't get through the neutral zone, and they got the majority of chances. In the third, we evened it out, but you've got to give them credit, they played a good road game."

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