Shawn Horcoff scored the only goal and John Gibson made 14 saves for his third shutout of the season as the Ducks won 1-0 to snap Calgary’s franchise-record 11-game winning streak at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“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,” said Gibson, who was tested just seven times through the first 40 minutes.
Calgary had last lost on home ice on Oct. 30. During the record winning streak, they had scored 42 goals.
“They played a great game for a road game,” said Flames captain Mark Giordano. “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.”
Tested only seven times over the first 40 minutes, Gibson was busiest in the third as the Flames finally generated some pressure. However, Calgary could not put one past the 22-year-old and Sam Bennett, the Flames best player on the night, put a shot off the cross bar.
“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,” said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. “I still think we defended really well. We got the saves when we needed.”
Anaheim (14-15-6) will continue its three-game Western Canada road swing 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,” said Horcoff.
Calgary (17-17-2) plays host to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.
“We’ve gotta make better plays. I think we had too many turnovers defensively and in the neutral zone,” said Flames defenceman Kris Russell. “When you have a team like that, with the size and skill they have, they’re going to get zone time. We’ve gotta clean that up.”
The goal came at 12:36 of the second period on an excellent shift by Swedish winger Rickard Rakell.
First, Rakell was stopped from close-in 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 and with the puck behind the net, he set-up Horcoff at the face-off dot, who one-timed a high shot past Ramo.
It was the only goal surrendered by Ramo, who finished with 20 saves to fall 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.
For the first 40 minutes, the Ducks carried the play territorially. Calgary went over 13 minutes between their last shot in the second and the first shot of the third.
It was second meeting of the season between two teams that met in the second round of the playoffs last year. Anaheim also won the first meeting.
“There was a lot of yapping between both benches. They know that we’re young and they’re trying to get to us,” said Hartley. “It’s just a matter of learning from those situations. They beat us fair and square tonight.”
NOTES: Calgary made one line-up change inserting Brandon Bollig for Mason Raymond. Bollig had been scratched the last seven games… With Cam Fowler (sprained knee) placed on injured reserve, defenceman Shea Theodore was recalled from San Diego and made his NHL debut for Anaheim. He partnered with Clayton Stoner… Ducks improve to 10-0-1 when leading after two periods.