The Calgary Flames were back in action less than 24 hours after Darryl Sutter’s triumphant return to the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The team made the short trip to Anaheim, seeking a victory at the Honda Center to return the overtime defeat they were dealt by the Ducks in the second game of the season.
The Flames opened the game with a respectable period. They were stronger than the Ducks at 5v5, but two penalties to Blake Coleman and Nikita Zadorov allowed Anaheim to put pressure on Calgary’s penalty kill. However, Daniel Vladar would not waver and held the Ducks scoreless. On the other end of the ice, Ducks goaltender John Gibson was also perfect in the opening 20 minutes.
Less than one minute into the second period, the Ducks scored first. Sonny Milano was able to tuck a loose rebound past Vladar to mark two straight games the Flames ceded the first goal—something that’s been exceedinly rare for Calgary this season.
Justs three minutes later, the Flames started their emphatic response. First, Blake Coleman scored on a great entry by Trevor Lewis, who floated a pass to Sean Monahan right in front of the net. Monahan swatted the puck mid-air to turn it into a perfect pass to Coleman, who had a wide open net to shoot at to tie the game up.
At the midway mark of the period, the Flames got their first lead. Elias Lindholm forced a turnover at the Ducks’ blueline, turning it into a give-and-go play with himself and Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau drew defenders onto him which in turn left Lindholm completely unguarded for a perfect shot going in off of the crossbar.
The Flames’ extended their lead to two goals on a goal from Monahan, who really needed to see a shot going his way. The Flames transitioned into the offensive zone and some passes later, the puck ended up on Monahan’s stick who was parked right in front of the net. He made no mistake scoring his third goal of the season—his first at even strength.
With less than a minute to go in the middle period, the Ducks drew back within one goal. Rickard Rakell was perfectly set up by Isac Lundestrom, and was able to laser a one-timer above Vladar’s blocker.
The second period saw a combined five goals and the Flames escape with a one-goal lead.
Early in the third, Erik Gudbranson caused a delay of game penalty, and the Ducks ultimately scored the tying goal. A cross-ice pass from Trevor Zegras to Vinni Lettieri for a one-timer was too fast for Vladar to react to. With the game tied 3–3, both teams sought to regain their leads.
However, no team would score again despite the Ducks being the better third period team—the Flames’ back-to-back tiredness seemed to have caught up with them.
Chances were exchanged by both teams in overtime, but it wasn’t exactly an exciting extra-time bout. Both teams played relatively cautious hockey without too many high-danger chances in either direction. The game needed a shootout to solve the deadlock.
Both Ducks shooters Zegras and Kevin Shattenkirk would see their shots saved by Vladar, while Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk strung together a one-two combo to win the game—a top-corner snipe from the former and the Peter Forsberg deke from the latter.
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