Despite being reminded of it every time these two teams meet in California, many Flames fans probably lost track of exactly how many consecutive games their team has lost at the Honda Center since the early 2000s, and in keeping with the spirit of American Thanksgiving, no team would break with tradition today.
The Anaheim Ducks, one of the three teams stuck in the logjam at the top of the Western Conference with 39 points, thoroughly dominated their visitors in every period today, outshooting them 42-21. The Ducks reached the double digits in shots in each period while the Flames only managed to do so in the middle frame, amassing just 11 in the other two stanzas. Like the Flames, Anaheim is also dealing with its fare share of injuries, and is just 4-4-2 in its past 10 games, but nonetheless they were able to get past the Flames with ease, with the first line of Penner-Getzlaf-Perry combining for six points at the visitors' expense.
With the Flames missing two of their top defenceman in Mark Giordano and Dennis Wideman, it shouldn't exactly be surprising that they're struggling in their own zone. Without a bonafide puck-stopper in net, Calgary can't afford to let Reto Berra face 40+ shots as often as he has, but they're also not exactly in a position to prevent those shots. It was clear going into the season that this Flames team was likely going to allow more shots than they generated at evens, and today was the fourth time in the 11 games Berra has played that he has faced 35 or more shots. The 26-year-old 'tender has now allowed 31 goals on 276 ES shots in his young NHL career thus far. The good news, I think, is that we saw Karri Ramo briefly today so we know he's still alive, and could get the start tomorrow in LA after stopping all four (!) shots he faced.
Up front it was an equally sad story for the Flames, as Mike Cammalleri led that team in shots with four, and the next highest total belonged to David Jones, who was credited with both the Flames' goals today, with three. Both Cammalleri and Lee Stempniak spent a combined 5:28 killing off three of the Flames' four penalties.
Some other notable numbers from today's game:
- With Sean Monahan (hairline fracture) out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, Mikael Backlund got to play a whole 13:30 today! Even worse is that that is the most ice time he has received since he played 17:01 on November 16th, a 4-2 loss to the Oilers.
- After being named the second star of the game just one week ago in the Flames' 4-3 shootout win over the Florida Panthers, Sven Baertschi is back in the dog house again after his defensive gaffe in Wednesday's 3-2 gut-punch loss to the Blackhawks. Sven played just 12:27 today and was credited with zero shots on goal.
- Chris Breen played just 11:44 and was -1 in his return to the lineup, and continues to be unspectacular in his first NHL season, although when you consider he's replacing Shane O'Brien he doesn't look half bad.
- It was another solid contest for Lance Bouma, who had an assist and contributed to the Flames' penalty-killing efforts.
- Despite scoring twice in the Flames' short-lived second period comeback, David Jones was on the ice for just 11:42 today. With six goals, he has now doubled his total from last season.
- Unsurprisingly the Flames didn't win the faceoff battle today, but Joe Colborne was victorious on 67% of his draws, the best of all Flames pivots.
- Max Reinhart played just 10:23 and had one shot in his return to the Flames lineup, and his second season in the NHL continues to be a frustrating one for the Flames' former third-round pick, who has no points in three games with the big club so far in 2013-14. And with the Flames calling up Paul Byron yesterday and Curtis Glencross possibly returning soon, he may not get much more of a chance to prove himself.
- Tim Jackman played 9:45 today against his former team and had three shots on goal. David Jones was one of just two players on the Flames to reach the same total today.
Tomorrow the Flames will be at the Staples Center to take on Darryl Sutter's LA Kings tomorrow night at the more normal time of 8:00 p.m. MT/10 p.m. ET.