The big line played big and J.S. Giguere played extremely well as the Ducks defeated the Calgary Flames in a shootout, 3-2, even after giving up the tying goal with under a minute to play.
Calgary got on the board first, converting on a first period Ducks turnover that became a breakaway for Curtis Glencross. The Ducks responded about two minutes later, scoring on a Calgary turnover behind their net. A Flames defenseman passed the puck right up the middle of the ice where Corey Perry was standing and shot the puck, and Bobby Ryan quickly picked up the rebound and backhanded the puck into the net to tie the game.
The Ducks used that momentum to continue their strong play in the offensive zone. The big line again had control of the puck down low before passing it up high to James Wisniewski. Wisniewski passed the puck across to Ryan Whitney who shot immediately, and Ryan Getzlaf was standing in front of the crease for the rebound to backhand the puck past Miikka Kipprusoff. The goal came just 68 seconds after the first Ducks goal.
The score would remain 2-1 in favor of the Ducks until the last minute of the game. Jerome Iginla, who had been quiet all game because of the great defense of Scott Niedermayer, shot a puck that deflected off Getzlaf and bounced past Giguere with just 18 seconds left in the game.
Overtime would see both teams trade scoring chances but keep the game tied, leading to a shootout. Perry shot first for the Ducks and nearly had an embarrassing moment, over-skating the puck just as he began his attempt. He reached back and picked it up to continue his attempt and was stoned by Kipprusoff. Giguere stopped the Flames’ shooter before Getzlaf’s attempt was poke-checked by Kipprusoff. Giguere would again stifle the Flames’ shooter before Teemu Selanne would score high to the glove side. Giguere then stoned the Flames’ Glencross, who scored the first goal of the game on a breakaway, to give the Ducks a much needed victory.
The first thing to notice about this game is Giguere. Giguere backstopped the Ducks to this win as Calgary took 43 shots on goal and totalled almost 30 scoring chances in the game. This is the Giguere Ducks fans are accustomed to watching. He made every stop we could reasonably expect him to make, plus some that we wouldn’t expect him to make.
But the Ducks are still relying on their top line more than they should. The RPG line continues to produce, scoring almost half of the Ducks’ goals over the last 15 games, and they scored both goals for the Ducks tonight. That’s not to say, however, that the other lines are not playing well. The second line of Evgeny Artyukhin, Saku Koivu, and Selanne continued to play well and generate chances, but did not score any goals.
One thing that the Ducks can be glad about is the injury situation. Joffrey Lupul sat out again with back spasms and Ryan Carter was placed on injured reserve, but Koivu, Wisniewski, and Steve Eminger are all back in the lineup for the Ducks, and the difference is noticeable.
To see highlights of the game, click here.
The Ducks will now have a day off before taking on the lowly Carolina Hurricanes at home on Wednesday night. The way the ‘Canes are playing is much like the Ducks however, as they play hard every game and have a chance to win but ends up going the wrong way. The Ducks cannot take this or any other game for granted for the rest of this season.
From NHL.com and the Associated Press:
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 41 saves in his first victory of the season despite allowing Jarome Iginla’s tying goal with 18 seconds left in regulation, and Teemu Selanne scored the only shootout goal in the Anaheim Ducks‘ 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Monday night.
The win was just Anaheim’s fifth in 16 games, but it pulled the Ducks out of last place in the Western Conference.
Miikka Kiprusoff made 29 saves for Calgary, but Selanne beat his fellow Finn with a stutter-step move in the shootout’s third round.
Curtis Glencross scored in the first period for the Flames, who were 5-0-1 on the road since mid-October.
Giguere had turned away 17 shots in a busy third period until Iginla and Olli Jokinen teamed up on a long rush in the waning seconds. Anaheim’s poor defensive coverage left Iginla to skate in alone, and the Calgary captain buried a quick shot for his 16th goal of the season, and his 12th in 10 games.
The shootout began inauspiciously for Anaheim when Perry fumbled the puck at mid-ice and had to go back for it before Kiprusoff stopped his weak shot. Getzlaf also failed, but Nigel Dawes and Jokinen couldn’t score for Calgary.
Glencross missed the net after Selanne’s goal, prompting Giguere to thrust his stick high in the air in celebration.
The Ducks’ win gave them 19 points, pushing them one ahead of Minnesota at the bottom of the conference standings after reaching the conference playoff semifinals last spring.
Giguere, the Ducks’ longtime starter and former playoff MVP before losing his job to Jonas Hiller last season, was 0-3-2 this fall with unimpressive statistics. He missed six games with a strained groin before returning two weeks ago, but the veteran looked sharp under Calgary’s strong third-period attack.
Glencross opened the scoring late in the first period when he blew past Anaheim defenseman Nick Boynton at the blue line and broke in alone on Giguere, roofing his fifth goal of the season.
But the Ducks tied it just more than two minutes later when Getzlaf’s forechecking forced Jamie Lundmark to fumble the puck into the slot, where Perry fired a shot and Ryan knocked it home.
Getzlaf then knocked in a rebound of his own, adroitly backhanding the loose puck resulting from Ryan Whitney’s slap shot 1:08 later for his fourth goal.
NOTES: Glencross’ goal was his first in 10 games since Oct. 20. … Ducks RW Joffrey Lupul missed his second straight game with back spasms. … Perry’s points streak is the longest in the NHL this season and the second-longest in franchise history, trailing only Teemu Selanne’s 17-game run in 1999.