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As Expected, Flames Lose in Anaheim Again

The Ducks downed the Flames 4-1 on Sunday night.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into tonight’s content, the Flames’ losing streak in Anaheim was well documented now sitting at 23 games dating back to January 19 2004. For context, Facebook was founded less than a month after that game, and the Flames made the Stanley Cup Final that June.

Calgary entered the game coming off a horrid 5-0 loss to the Kings last night while the Ducks last beat the Coyotes 5-1 on Friday. Chad Johnson makes his second start in three games after a stellar outing against the Sharks, while Hunter Shinkaruk makes his season debut in the Flames lineup. Jyrki Jokipakka replaces Nicklas Grossmann (thank God) alongside Dougie Hamilton in tonight’s game.

1st Period

The Ducks would jump out to an early lead when Clayton Stoner would bury an easy rebound past Johnson. It’s 1-0 Ducks only 2:29 in.

Matthew Tkachuk would draw a Duck penalty when cutting to the net and send the Flames to an early power play for a chance to tie the game. The Ducks would get the best chances despite being shorthanded and would kill off the rest of the penalty.

Deryk Engelland and Jared Boll would get into a spirited scrap that I’d declare a draw but it was fun to watch and good to see the Flames have some fight.

The Flames would tie the game when a shot from Johnny Gaudreau would deflect in front off Alex Chiasson and into the net. Sean Monahan would get an assist on the goal as well. Chiasson credited with the goal on a patented Gaudreau-Monahan play we hadn’t seen all season.

We’d get to see some 4 on 4 hockey off the ensuing faceoff as Antoine Vermette essentially jumped Mikael Backlund. Johnny Gaudreau would then be taken down by Korbinian Holzer sending the Flames to a short 4 on 3 powerplay.

The Flames would be unable to score on the powerplay as the opening period expired with the score tied at 1. The shots were 12-9 in favour of the Flames.

All things considered, it was a solid opening period and the Gaudreau-Monahan-Chiasson line looked significantly better than in the past games.

2nd Period

Dougie Hamilton would take an awkward fall into the boards and then take a holding call as he was labouring. The Ducks would take advantage as Ryan Kesler would bury the puck in front of Johnson to make it 2-1 Anaheim 3:18 into the second.

Andrew Cogliano would make it 3-1 Ducks when he got his own rebound in past Johnson on a 2 on 1 break.

We’d get another fight after Matthew Tkachuk rocked Rickard Rakell and was immediately challenged by Joseph Cramarossa. Tkachuk’s 1st NHL fight was an entertaining one that could also be called a draw.

The rest of the period would mostly be neutral zone play until Brett Kulak would be whistled for tripping late in the period to send the Ducks to the powerplay. The Ducks wouldn’t score but would have about a minute and half carry over to the third.

The second period ends with the Ducks ahead 3-1 despite the Flames leading in shots 22-16.

3rd Period

The Flames would kill off the remainder of Kulak’s penalty to open the period despite some dangerous Duck puck movement.

Calgary would force a number of Duck icing calls early on into the period but would be unable to capitalize as Anaheim began to settle into a shell to guard their lead.

Halfway through the 3rd the shots were only 1 apiece in a very unentertaining stretch.

Mark Giordano would be whistled for a slashing penalty with seven minutes to go in the third. Ryan Kesler would seal the game on the powerplay in front by again hitting a rebound right in the slot past Johnson. Another Ducks goal where nobody had the player right in the middle of the ice. 4-1 Ducks.

The game ends with some rough stuff late but it doesn’t matter as the Ducks defeat the Flames 4-1 with the final shots sitting at 26-21 for Calgary.

The Good

  1. There were patches of the game that Johnny Gaudreau and his line looked pretty good
  2. Matthew Tkachuk had a spirited first NHL fight

The Bad

  1. Once again the special teams let the Flames down as the Ducks were 2 for 3 on the PP
  2. The Flames only managed 4 third period shots. Not going to help a comeback

The Ugly

  1. This has to be one of the softest teams in puck battles I’ve seen, at least in the last two games. The Flames were playing dump and chase a lot tonight but weren’t even battling hard for the puck or skating in as the Ducks easily broke out of their zone quite often.
  2. THE HONDA CENTER IS CURSED. The Flames have now lost 24 straight games in Anaheim and frankly it’s getting ridiculous. Maybe we should just save on airfare and time by giving Anaheim four or six points up front at the start of the season.