Flames' home win streak ends at 11 with 1-0 loss to Ducks
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) With a tight defensive effort, the Anaheim Ducks became the first visiting team in two months to win in Calgary.
Shawn Horcoff scored in the second period and John Gibson made 14 saves for his third shutout this season as Anaheim beat Calgary 1-0 Tuesday night, stopping the Flames' home winning streak at a franchise-record 11 games.
Tested only seven times over the first 40 minutes, Gibson was busiest in the third as the Flames finally were able to generate some pressure. However, Calgary could not solve the 22-year-old goalie and Sam Bennett, the Flames' best player on the night, put a shot off the crossbar.
''We had a game plan to try to clog up the neutral zone, try to slow them down. We did a pretty good job of it,'' Gibson said.
The loss was the first at the Scotiabank Saddledome since Oct. 30 for Calgary (17-17-2). During the record streak, the Flames scored 42 goals.
''They played a great game for a road game,'' Calgary captain Mark Giordano said. ''We have to do a better job of coming back as a five-man unit and breaking in. I thought we were a little bit guilty of stretching, and too much separation between our forwards and our D.''
Anaheim (14-15-6) was opening up a three-game Western Canada road swing that continues Thursday in Edmonton.
''It's big for us. All these games. We know the stakes coming in here. They're really essentially four-point games for us,'' Horcoff said.
The Ducks scored at 12:36 of the second on an excellent shift by winger Rickard Rakell.
First, Rakell was stopped from in close on a sharp pad save by Karri Ramo after he was set up by Ryan Getzlaf.
After the rest of his line changed, Rakell remained on the ice. With the puck behind the net, he set up Horcoff at the faceoff dot and he one-timed a high shot past Ramo, who finished with 20 saves and fell to 13-11-1. Ramo was starting his seventh game in a row and 22nd in the last 25.
Gibson improved to 6-4-2.
''We started to bend a little bit in the third but that comes with it when they add a lot more pressure. That's the norm,'' Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. ''I still think we defended really well. We got the saves when we needed.''
For 40 minutes, the Ducks carried the play. During one stretch between the last shot in the second period and the first shot of the third, Calgary went more than 13 minutes without forcing Gibson to make a save.
Only three Flames forwards ended up with shots on goal: Johnny Gaudreau (four), Micheal Ferland (one) and Bennett (one).
It was the second meeting of the season between teams that squared off in the second round of the 2015 playoffs. They played a tight-checking and physical first period with both squads finishing their checks.
''There was a lot of yapping between both benches. They know that we're young and they're trying to get to us,'' Calgary coach Bob Hartley said. ''It's just a matter of learning from those situations. They beat us fair and square tonight.''
Anaheim's best chance in the first came when Giordano's ill-advised pass was intercepted in the slot by Ryan Kesler, forcing Ramo to make a sharp save.
''We've got to make better plays. I think we had too many turnovers defensively and in the neutral zone,'' Flames defenseman Kris Russell said. ''When you have a team like that, with the size and skill they have, they're going to get zone time. We've got to clean that up.''
NOTES: Calgary made one lineup change, inserting Brandon Bollig for Mason Raymond. Bollig had been scratched the last seven games. ... With Cam Fowler (sprained knee) placed on injured reserve, defenseman Shea Theodore was recalled from San Diego and made his NHL debut for Anaheim. He partnered with Clayton Stoner. ... The Ducks improved to 10-0-1 when leading after two periods.