Skip to main content

Flames rally in third, edge Ducks in shootout

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames are quickly building the reputation as comeback kids.

Sean Monahan scored the shootout winner and Jonas Hiller made 24 saves against his former club to lead the Flames to a 4-3 win against the Anaheim Ducks at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.

In doing so, Calgary improved to an NHL-best four wins when trailing after two periods. The Flames' 27 third-period goals are tops in the League too.

"They definitely have the skill, definitely a playoff team, and have big bodies," said Hiller, who spent his first seven seasons and 326 games with the Ducks. "To be able to play with that team means a lot. The first two periods, we weren't happy, weren't skating as well and competing as hard as we wanted to, and in the third finally found our game and were buzzing.

"I think everyone in here is believing that we can turn games around. A lot of times, third periods have been our best periods. It shows the character of this team."

The Ducks have earned points in six of their past seven games but have one win in that stretch.

"You're still getting points," Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "We've just got to find a way to put together 60 minutes where we don't have to go to overtime every night. It's frustrating for some of us. I think we're not used to playing at that level and having that kind of thing where the guys that are supposed to be relied on to finish games and play the right way. We've got to look ourselves in the mirror and play better."

Monahan picked up the puck before shifting into the Ducks zone and snapping a shot that beat Anaheim goalie Frederik Andersen's low blocker to put the Flames up in the third round of the shootout. With the Ducks shooting second, Corey Perry couldn't beat Hiller.

The former Anaheim goalie was happy to best his former team.

"Especially after being down after two periods and not playing our best game and finding a way to step it up," Hiller said. "I think it shows a lot of character on this team. It feels great to get the win."

Extra time was needed after a wild third period that saw the Flames overcome a 2-0 deficit before giving up a late lead.

After TJ Brodie failed to connect on a cross-crease pass to Markus Granlund, Jiri Hudler scooped up the puck in the high slot and lifted a shot over a downed Andersen to cut the lead to 2-1 at 3:25. The goal came on Calgary's 10th shot.

Dennis Wideman completed the comeback on Calgary's 13th shot, stepping into a drop pass from Granlund and firing it over the shoulder of Andersen to tie the game 2-2 at 9:03. It took Wideman fewer than five minutes and another one-timer to give Calgary its first lead of the game, this time stepping into a Johnny Gaudreau pass that knuckled over Andersen to make it 3-2.

"We just stick to our game," Wideman said. "We've done a good job this year so far of sticking to our game and when we haven't had the first and second period that we'd like … we've found a way to find our legs in the third. That's a positive."

Kyle Palmieri replied on the power play with 4:55 remaining. With Josh Jooris off for tripping, Palmieri spun off the goal line and jammed a puck at Hiller, who made the initial stop but couldn't track the rebound that floated up and over the goal line to tie the game 3-3.

"We weren't ready to come out and we were kind of sitting back on our heels and accepting their push instead of doing what we did in the first 40 minutes and going out there imposing our will and getting pucks deep and all that kind of stuff," Palmieri said. "It was on us. We knew what they were going to do. We knew they were going to try and stretch us out and do that.

"Obviously we wanted two points and we let it slip away."

Sami Vatanen put the Ducks on the board first to kick off a dominant 40 minutes that saw Anaheim give up seven shots.

After taking a pass back at the point from Jakob Silfverberg, Vatanen faked a shot to avoid a diving Sven Baertschi and took a stride in before firing a shot that clipped the stick of Flames defenseman Raphael Diaz and went between Hiller's legs to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead at 15:54 of the first period.

After facing four shots in the first, Andersen saw three in the second. He watched as Matt Beleskey gave Anaheim a two-goal cushion. With Wideman in the penalty box for tripping, Beleskey knocked a high point shot from Hampus Lindholm between Hiller's legs to put the Ducks up 2-0 at 12:29.

Thanks in part to 17 saves from Hiller through the first two periods, the Flames were able to rally in the third.

"I thought it was perfect hockey for two periods," Boudreau said. "Holding another team to seven shots in their building. The crowd's dead. They're dead.

"We beat ourselves. There was no doubt in my mind. I think it was evident that after two periods we had total control of the game and then we do stupid stuff in the third period, get lazy and it doesn't take much to get the crowd back into it and the next thing you know it’s 3-2."

Prior to puck drop, Calgary honored Hall of Fame broadcaster Peter Maher. Maher's career spanned over four decades and he was voice of the Flames since the 1981-82 season calling 2,954 Flames games. He was honored as the winner of the 2006 Foster Hewett Memorial Award by the Hockey Hall of Fame and has called World Championship games, six NHL All-Star games, the Stanley Cup Finals in 1980, 1986, 1989 and 2004 and the 2010 Winter Olympics.

"Tonight, Peter Maher's night, was like a big family party and obviously for the first 40 minutes, we didn't receive the invitation," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "We were not very good, we were not on the puck and we were not skating.

"I'd like to dedicate this win to Peter Maher. He was so good to us. Whether he was in the rink, at the hotel, or on the plane; Peter Maher was a class act and we certainly learned a lot from him."

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.