Calgary Flames 8 Anaheim Ducks 3
The Flames came into this contest with a 2 game win streak and a renewed feeling of confidence with the return of star forward Johnny Gaudreau. And well, it didn’t take long for Johnny Hockey to make an impact. On his first shift and on his first shot, Gaudreau snuck one under Jonathan Bernier’s arm and got Calgary on the board first giving them a 1-0 lead. The Flames looked like they were playing with a renewed vigor after the goal and Micheal Ferland took notice. On the faceoff immediately after the goal Ferland dropped the gloves with his good friend Kevin Bieksa, we’ll call it a draw. Ferland went to the box and did not return and according to the Flames he was done with an upper body injury. Chad Johnson came up big in that first period stopping all 11 Ducks shots and the Flames managed to kill the one Ducks penalty.
The second period started with Sam Bennett in the box for a holding penalty with :46 left in the first period, but Calgary again killed another penalty, but the success was short lived. 2:50 seconds into the period Flames killer Ryan Kesler fired one past Chad Johnson to tie it up at one. The second was a little back and forth until Johnny Gaudreau grabbed an Anaheim turnover, took his time and fired off 2 shots (one his own rebound), but Jonathan Bernier wasn’t having it. The Flames would go on the power play as Garbut went to the box for slashing and the Flames took full advantage. Sean Monahan put one on net and Troy Brouwer tipped it in to put the Flames up 2-1. 52 seconds later, the Flames wanted more and got more. Johnny Gaudreau created more offence and Alex Chiasson collected the loose change and buried one past Bernier for a 3-1 lead. As if the Flames weren’t having enough fun, Dennis Wideman fired a bomb at Bernier and Matt Stajan tipped it home to put the Flames up 4-1. If you’re scoring at home: 3 goals, 87 seconds. Had enough? Too bad. When it rains, it pours. The Flames went on the power play again and Mikael Backlund found Sam Bennett to get the Flames their 5th of the game. Oh, the Flames weren’t done. 55 seconds after Bennett’s goal, Dougie Hamilton absolutely CRUSHED one under the cross bar to give Calgary a 6-1 lead. Yup, you read that correctly. The Flames could have gotten 7, but Johnny Gaudreau was denied by Bernier and Calgary would have to settle for a 6-1 lead after two periods.
Ok, well the third went a little differently to start. Alex Chiasson started a fight with Joseph Cramarossa and didn’t win. Chiasson took some horrific punches before heading to the box. Shortly after, everyone decided to dance. Garnet Hathaway lined up a Ducks player with an “elbow” and then Jyrki Jokipakka got drilled and Deryk Engelland decided to take care of business with Jared Boll. Anaheim ended up with a power play out of it, but the Flames again killed another penalty. To add insult to injury, Sean Monahan decided he needed a goal and his shot put the Flames up 7-1. As if you thought it couldn’t get worse for the Ducks it did. Mark Giordano and Troy Brouwer came in on a 2 on 1 and toyed with the Ducks before Giordano went top shelf and put the Flames up 8-1. The 7 goal lead didn’t last long as Ryan Kesler and Logan Shaw got the Ducks on the board with their 2nd and 3rd goals of the contest, cutting the Calgary lead to 8-3. That 8-3 lead would hold as Chad Johnson would make a few key stops and the Flames would get to .500 and get into a Wildcard spot.
Whew. Get all that? The Flames needed a game like this as they had only scored more than 3 goals 3 times this season and it was almost 2 months ago since the last time they got to 4 goals. Clearly Johnny Gaudreau being back has energized this team. The Flames played with speed, strength and an attitude we haven’t seen in a while. This is the team I think most fans expected to see at the start of the season. Now it’s time to make it stick and keep it going.
Flame of the Game
While the popular choice would be Johnny Gaudreau, Sam Benentt gets the honors. Bennett had 1 goal, 2 assists, was a +2, had 4 PIM, has 1 monstrous hit and had 15:16 minutes of ice time.