Anaheim Ducks Estinguish the Calgary Flames in an Emotional 2-1 Victory

The Ducks have some history with the Calgary Flames, this rivalry really exploded up in FLAMES when the Calgary Flames’ winger Johny Gaudreau had knee-on-knee contact with Cam Fowler during the playoffs and remained injured with a knee injury for a majority of the playoffs. So you can definitely expect some physicality and for the Ducks playing with emotion that has carried over from last year.

After the Golden Knights game Ryan Kesler spoke about how the Ducks need to  “play mean” right from the start, at the first puck drop the Ducks need to play aggressive and play mean to get a win tonight.

In the game almost every time that Sean Monahan was on the ice, Randy Carlyle had Ryan Kesler out there to face Monahan. That is when he put a lot of pressure on the Flames when he was on the ice with Monahan.

Another challenge the Ducks will face is that Matthew Tkachuk is the Flames player that tends to get under the players and goaltenders skin- kind of like what Corey Perry likes to do to the opposing team. That would’ve been a great pairing on the ice but due to a knee injury during the Ducks vs. Penguins game and hasn’t returned to the lineup yet.

Now that Kesler is healthy and back in the lineup, Randy Carlyle has so many options of what he wants the lineup to look like. He has full strength and strong centers in the lineup tonight: Ryan Kesler, Ryan Getzlaf, and Adam Henrique. Having those guys in the lineup will make the Ducks look DANGEROUS to the opponent.

Some of the keys for tonight’s game “Guy’s Keys” are:

The Ducks need put pressure on the Flames in the offensive zone making Mike Smith uncomfortable in the Flames net, defensive pressure- put pressure on Flames by Ducks defenders and make it a real battle for them, and lastly what Guy calls ‘Johnny Gaudreau Hockey’ he hasn’t been having or playing the game he wants so the Ducks could see that as an advantage or disadvantage.

Game Highlights:


 Photo by Anaheim Ducks 

It took only 3-minutes for the Ducks to… ANAHEIM DUCKS GOAL!!! SCORED BY THE #4 CAM FOWLER!!! ASSISTED BY THE  #15 RYAN GETZLAF AND ASSISTED BY THE #67 RICKARD RAKELL!!! Getzlaf shoots the puck and Fowler finds it and with a short rebound by Fowler, he puts the Ducks in the lead. It’s 1-0 Ducks, Flames now trail by 1.

Click here to see Fowler’s goal: Fowler finds the back of the net

The Anaheim Ducks go on a penalty kill as Josh Manson is off to the penalty box for cross-checking Curtis Lazar. It wasn’t a fierce cross-check that was made by Manson but he will sit with a 2-minute minor penalty. During the penalty kill, Logan Shaw gets high-sticked by Mikael Blacklund. There is just 1:33 left in the penalty to Manson, when Mikael Blacklund is sent to the box for high-sticking Logan Shaw. Since there was no blood drawn off of the high-stick he will only sit for a 2-minute minor penalty, if there would’ve been blood drawn Blacklund would be sitting with a 5-minute major. It’s 4-on-4 for the remaining 1:33 left in the penalty to Manson before the Ducks go on a 30-second power play. Both penalties are killed.

A few minutes later after there was 3 good minutes where the Ducks were very determined to put shots on net the Ducks go on a power play. The Anaheim Ducks are on a JMG power play as Mikael Blacklund is off to the penalty box again for holding Rickard Rakell. Unfortunately for the Ducks the Flames were successful in killing that penalty. Penalty Killed.

About 5-minutes later this happens. Ryan Kesler and Matthew Tkachuk go at it and now we have a fight. Some body contact, slashes and exchanging words between the two players is what lead to the fight. Ryan Kesler is one nasty beast and I will tell you why, Ryan Kesler threw some hard punches and they were so hard that Tkachuk’s mouth guard flew right out. It is obvious after watching the video that Ryan Kesler did throw the majority of the punches during the fight with Tkachuk.

Kesler fights Matthew Tkachuk:

Both Ryan Kesler and Matthew Tkachuk received 5-minute penalties for fighting. There is no 4-on-4 because when a fighting penalty is given the player sits for 5-minutes and the team doesn’t go without a player on the ice than he would if it was any other penalty. During the penalties Randy Carlyle double shifts Ryan Getzlaf since the Ducks lost the aid of Ryan Kesler during his fight with Tkachuk. Both teams were able to capitalize from the time penalties to Kesler and Tkachuk were served. Penalties Killed.

The Flames are getting basically nowhere, no luck in getting one past Gibson- because he has made it clear that it is GIBBY TIME!!! So the Flames just continue to ice the puck over and over again. With the Flames being frustrated with a on fire and technically sound goaltender all the players gather behind the Anaheim net after a HUGE save by Gibson, the players on the ice all go at it, Hampus Lindholm and Garnet Hathaway is where it all started before the rest of the players joined in on the action.

It’s 4-on4 when Brandon Montour and Garnet Hathaway are sent to the penalty box with about 2-minutes left in the period. During the 4-on-4 and with 1.2 seconds left on the clock, Ryan Kesler gets a puck past Smith but it was under review for kicking motion by Kesler. The officials deemed it NO GOAL because there was indeed kicking motion that lead the puck to go in the net.

The Ducks head to the locker room with a 1-0 lead over the Flames. The Ducks need to come into the second period and play the full 20 minutes like they did in the opening period. Gibson just keep it going and keep it at GIBBY TIME!!! Make it a hard battle for the Flames to get on the board. The Ducks need to continue to control the puck, be aggressive and do what they can to keep it in the offensive zone.

 Photo by Anaheim Ducks

The Flames felt the pressure from the Ducks and didn’t really know what to do so they kept on icing the puck over and over again. I think that they had no time or space to make a play or get one started to create scoring chances for them.

Mike Smith saw Logan Shaw coming and made a big save but if he didn’t see Shaw coming there most likely would’ve been a goal by Logan Shaw.

Chris Wagner is known for 2 things being a talented hockey player and being a beast on the ice. He shows this all of the time, especially when he rocks Michael Stone hard into the glass. It was a hard but effortless hit on Stone by Chris Wagner- one of the many beasts on the Anaheim Ducks.

And the Anaheim Ducks go on a JMG Power Play, as Curtis Lazar is off to the penalty box for roughing Antoine Vermette. The Ducks had chances. No luck for the Ducks. The penalty to Lazar has expired, the Flames are back to full strength.

Now John Gibson is a VETERAN goaltender and one thing that he rarely does is let the puck go in the net with a open five-hole (open space between the leg pads). The Calgary Flames Goal. It’s Micheal Ferland with the goal. He got the rebound and went five-hole on Gibson and it went right through. We are now tied at 1-1. That is a goal that was probably an ‘I can’t believe that happened’ sort of thing going through his mind or something along that line when he looks back at the goal made by Ferland.

Click here to see Ferland’s goal: Ferland’s shot gets past Gibson

Matthew Tkachuk is getting in the Anaheim Ducks face and under their skin and now he wants a shot at Kevin Bieksa. He starts to go at Bieksa but he is denied the challenge. Kevin Bieksa is one of the Anaheim Ducks that I wouldn’t want to mess with in the first place, so I haven’t got a clue on why he would even want to fight Bieksa.

It’s time for the Ducks to kill another penalty, as Josh Manson is off to the penalty box for roughing Garnet Hathaway. It’s Gibby Time so the Calgary Flames saw Gibson’s response- so many shots were DENIED by netminder John Gibson. Gibson is the main reason why the Ducks were successful in that penalty kill. The penalty has expired and Josh Manson is back out on the ice.

Johnny Gaudreau gets a clean breakaway by Gibson says “No Way, Not Today”. Josh Manson sweep checks and redirects the puck and takes the chances for a rebound away from the Flames.

The Ducks head to the locker room with a tied 1-1 game. Gibson just needs to keep it up and continue to shutdown the Calgary Flames. The defenders need to make a strong aggressive push in the final 20 minutes and keep controlling the puck and make life miserable for Mike Smith in the final period.
 Photo by Anaheim Ducks

Just minutes into the period Rickard Rakell gets boarded and then a minute later slamed hard into the glass both times by Travis Harmonic. Because the refs were being ZEBRAS they made no call even though it was obvious that Rakell was boarded.

Within the first minutes of the period Matthew Tkachuk is off to the penalty box for delay of game. This happens when the puck goes above the high glass or above the high glass and into the stands. The Anaheim Ducks go on a JMG Power Play, one that the Ducks were able to capitalize from.

ANAHEIM DUCKS GOAL!!! A POWER PLAY GOAL!!! SCORED BY THE #67 RICKARD RAKELL!!! ASSISTED BY THE #15 RYAN GETZLAF!!! and ASSISTED BY THE #33 JAKOB SILFVERBERG!!! Getzlaf is up in front of the netminder Smith and doesn’t have good position to score but spots RickRakAttack on the wing and the Ducks get the lead it’s 2-1 lead.

Click here to see Rakell’s Power Play Goal: RickRakAttack PPG

That penalty to Tkachuk was not kill, courtesy of the Power Play Goal scored by RickRakAttack. Rickard Rakell now has 4 goals in 4 consecutive games. I can’t say this for all Ducks fans but for this Ducks fan, I definately love this record he has and he may catch up to Perry who has 7 goals in 7 consecutive games.

The Calgary Flames have 2 minutes to score and force overtime to get a win over the Anaheim Ducks.

A player that has been all over the Anaheim Ducks is Matthew Tkachuk and he takes a shot at Josh Manson. Josh Manson recieves a hard hit and shove into the glass by Tkachuk but because Manson is a BEAST he didn’t fall to the ice when others might have with a hit like that one. I am expecting some sort of hit that Manson makes on Tkachuk because of the hit he recieved.

Ryan Kesler who has just come back to the lineup gets hit on the inside of his skate by the puck in the Anaheim zone which caused some sort of discomfort and you could see it by the way he was skating back to the bench. It’s all good because after a few shifts he gets back out on the ice.

The Anaheim Ducks go on a JMG Power Play as Mikael Backlund is sent to the penalty box for high-sticking Logan Shaw. No blood was drawn it is a 2-minute minor penalty. Unfortunately for the Ducks the Flames were successful in killing the penalty to Backlund. Penalty Killed.

A few minutes later Backlund goes back to the penalty box for holding Rickard Rakell. I think that the Flames just were getting frustrated by the Ducks and that is a reason behind Backlud taking penalties. No luck for the Ducks. Penalty Killed.

After a stick save by Gibson the Anaheim Ducks go on the penalty kill. Rickard Rakell is sent to the penalty box for roughing with Michael Stone. Too bad for the Flames because the Ducks killed that penalty to Rakell.

Just as I expected, Josh Manson does take a shot at Tkachuk when he elbows him in the mouth, too bad for the Flames since the officials made no call on Manson for maybe roughing for elbowing Tkachuk. In my opinion that is something that Tkachuk deserved.

Gibson has been big and square to the shot and even with Smith going to the bench so the Flames get the extra attacker. GIBBY TIME is what it is. He DENIED every single puck that came his way. With good goaltending and the Ducks with the lead they come away with the win and a much needed 2 points tonight.

Ducks Logo.jpg

Thoughts on the game from the Anaheim Ducks players and coaches:

Ryan Getzlaf (on generating scoring chances): We moved the puck quick and shot quick. At times, we have the habit of holding onto the puck too long. We did a better job of passing and shooting off passes.

Ryan Getzlaf (on the game): The second period was a little bit of a lull for us, but to give them credit, they came pretty hard at the start of the period. We handled it and kept going. That’s what we need to do.

Cam Fowler (on making a push in the third period): It was big. We’ve been doing a good job lately of getting off to good starts, but we seem to kind of take our foot off the gas and let teams back into the hockey game. They made their push in the second, but we were able to stick with it. I thought it was one of our most complete games all year. It was a good bounce back win for us. Hopefully we can keep that momentum moving forward.

Cam Fowler (on the team’s overall performance): We have four good lines in here. Lines that can make plays and make it difficult on other teams. When we’re moving our feet, that’s when we’re at our best. We felt like we got back into our style of hockey tonight, making it difficult on other teams mainly on the forecheck. I thought our guys did a great job forechecking.

Rickard Rakell (on his goal): I almost managed to miss anyways, but I think it was a good play right off the faceoff. I just tried to shoot.

Rickard Rakell (on his four-game goal streak): I’m just trying to stay calm during the games. Trying to find different areas to find space to put the puck in net. Just trying to stick with it.

Head Coach Randy Carlyle (on tonight’s game): We were definately on our toes to start the game. It showed we were embarrassed by what transpired in the previous game against Vegas where we found a way to stop completing and playing the way we’re capable of playing. This was kind kind of like a make-up gmae for us. We had to renew our confidence and feel good about ourselves. They went out and worked and did the right things.

Head Coach Randy Carlyle (on the scoring chances): You have to execute with the puck and get pucks and people to the net. We did a lot of that early in the hockey game. I thought the third period was a good period for us. We limited the scoring chances and scored a big power-play goal.

1- Calgary Flames

Thoughts on the game from the Calgary Flames players and coaches:

Mike Smith (on the second period): I thought we won the second, that’s for sure. It wasn’t the start we were looking for, by any means. I think we were tentative, nervous, I don’t know what the word is for it, but we weren’t doing anything really well in the first. I thought we responded well in the second. Got a big goal there. It was a tight game.

Mike Smith (on getting more puck support): The margin for error on the defensive side is slim right now. We have enough players in this locker room to be able to put the puck in the net. It’s just about sometimes getting the gritty ones. It’s not always going to be the pretty goal that wins you hockey games.

Matthew Tkachuk (on playing from behind): You never want to put yourself in that position where you are chasing the game. We were chasing in the first period, the whole time. We played better in the second, but we were still behind on the scoreboard and we tied it up late. It was a good goal for us to get. I think if we had a couple chances in the third, we could have gotten that one, but that first period cost us I think.

Matthew Tkachuk (on defensive play): Going back to the first period, defensively we weren’t very good at all. They were in our zone and it’s one thing if they are in our zone and they aren’t getting any chances, but we were giving up a lot so we’ve got to limit that.

Head Coach Glen Gulutzan (on the first period): I think we were intimidated in the first until we got our feet under us in the second. We weren’t ready to complete in a hard game and that’s a step our team needs to take.

Head Coach Glen Gulutzan (on battling back): We had a great second period, but this isn’t a let’s play one [period] of three league. You can’t do that. It’s the same old story.

The Ducks are back at it on Sunday to wrap up 2017 with a game against the Arizona Coyotes. This is the last home game of the year and they will start the new year on the road for a 3-game 6-day road trip before thir mandated bye week to prepare for the LA Kings. They are a team that find themselves as being one of the worst teams in the league this year. As of now they have NO chance of being in the playoffs again. This happens to them year after year and season after season. The Ducks will go into this game with a huge victory over the Flames and it should be an easy game for the Anaheim Ducks to come away with another 2 points.

Blog post coming up next… Anahiem Ducks vs. Arizona Coyotes (last game of 2017)

 

LET’S GO DUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please feel free to leave your comments and thought below in the comment section.

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Sources: Anaheim Ducks Player News- Ducks Daily and Twitter @AnaheimDucks

Sources are all by The Anaheim Ducks/ anaheimducks.com

Source: Anaheim Ducks- “Postgame Notes and Quotes – December 29 vs. Calgary”

Source Adam Brady- “Recap: Ducks Hang On to Douse Flames, 2-1”

Photos by The Anaheim Ducks

 

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