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Calgary with a 2pt give-away to Anaheim as they struggle to stay in a Playoff Position

Mikael Backlund gets Calgary’s lone goal for his 10th this season.

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Pre-Game Notes:

The Calgary Flames enter tonights game trailing 1 point behind the Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division. In their last meeting at the Dome, Bernier let in 8 goals on 25 Flames shots - Gibson out sick in that Dec.4th game, as Flames win 8-3 at home.

Chad Johnson (0-3-0 in last 3) is back in net after Elliot got the last few starts - Johnson did get the start versus the Sharks (Dec.20) during the Flames back-to-back road games.

Dougie Hamilton out with the flu, Troy Brouwer out with a broken finger.

Here’s the Preview

1st Period (Not bad for not many shots)

A slow start to the game, with the Flames getting 1 shot 6 mins in, the Ducks not getting a shot on net until 7 mins in. Shots evened out 7-7 with 6 mins left, almost even with hits (8-7) during this period. Total shots were 7-13 in favour of Flames in the first 20 minutes.

Backlund walks right in on a discombobulated Ducks team for a five-hole goal on Gibson at 8:51, just past half-way in the period. Tkachuk and Engelland with the assists.

Monahan and Perry getting chances for both teams, but no goals.

Tkachuk draws the hooking Penalty, as the Flames head on the PP in the last 3 minutes. Flames get a couple good shots on Gibson, but are unable to post PP points.

Johnson scrambles to keep the puck out soon after on the other end - and the Flames live to face another period, leading the Ducks by 1.

2nd Period (Flames losing steam, as Kesler gets under their skin)

Johnson not able to grip the rebound, and Flames lose a Coach’s Challenge on the Ducks PP goal - Corey Perry not being charged with goalie interference - the game is tied 1-1 to Calgary’s dismay, as Vermette gets his 7th goal.

Gaudreau and Chaisson get a 2-on-1 chance - with no cigar - or goal.

Ducks are all over Gaudreau like bees on honey - Johnny and Kesler getting into a couple shoving matches. Hathaway with the ensuing interference giving the Ducks their 2nd PP - the Flames able to kill this one off, and head on their own PP.

Flames are 0/2 on the PP with 5 minutes left in the period. Shots even 8-8 with a couple minutes left in play, as Wideman goes off for Holding. Flames able to kill off another misdemeanor resulting in a 1/3 on the PP for Anaheim.

Getzlaf loses the puck to Chiasson and off he goes with Bennett on a 2-on-0 short-handed chance with seconds left - as they make one too many passes and Bennett flakes on the shot. Keeping the game tied at 1 a piece to end 40 minutes of play.

3rd Period (Flames downed after allowing 2 goals)

A couple minutes in and Ryan Getzlaf is off for Hooking, and the Flames get their 3rd PP chance. Versteeg slaps a couple from the point, but neither shot gets through traffic. Backlund gets a chance that goes off of the post. Flames fail to capitalize making it 0/3 on PP tonight, as Hathaway takes one last shot with the wrap around - and words start to fly between him and Kesler, as Bouma comes in with some extra words for #17 Ducks.

Johnson gets a leg out on #86 Ducks, stopping Kase from cashing in on the take-away - right off of Giordano’s tape - deep in the Flames zone.

Ducks gain the lead 2-1 after #33 Silverberg decides to shoot and scores on the 2-on-1 with Cogliano - Kesler getting the assist on this one. Ferland goes after Kesler for picking on Gaudreau and gets called for Roughing in the first half of the period. Flames still getting the short-handed chances, however not able to plant one in the net.

Flames Wideman takes an unfortunate delay-of-game call, giving the Ducks a 2-man advantage for a minute. Flames able to fend off the Ducks, but not for long as Rakell jams one in for a PP goal - making it 3-1 for Ducks (2/5 on PP).

Flames get a chance at redemption as #86 Ducks goes off for Hooking nearing the 10 minute mark. Versteeg still slapping from the point - Gibson making the save. Gaudreau flying into the attack zone again, but again, Flames not able to get that PP point (0/4 on PP).

Flames racking up penalty minutes as they go on another PK late in the game. This time its Backlund for roughing. We see a late 4-on-4 as the two teams continue to clash, and take slashing calls.

This stint ends in a 3-1 Anaheim Ducks win, as they inch up the Division standings with 43 pts. Flames lay back at 40 pts.

Post-Game:

Flames struggle to post PowerPlay points, and are unable to make the break-away chances work for them this game.

Highlights:

Tkachuk adding on to this 5-game points streak, and continuing to be a gritty presence, drawing penalties and contributing from all areas of the ice.

Next Game:

Flames host Coyotes at the Dome on New Years Eve.

The Flames and Ducks don’t meet again until their April 2nd & 4th consecutive match-ups.

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