Cam Fowler’s goal with 18.6 seconds left in overtime allowed the Ducks to clinch a back-and-forth battle in a hostile environment.
Saku Koivu scored a pair of goals, Brandon McMillan scored short-handed, and Teemu Selanne’s power-play goal with 2:07 left in the third period sent the game to overtime tied at 4.
Curtis McElhinney got the start with a healthy Jonas Hiller serving as the backup. He got help from a post in the third period, a missed breakaway opportunity in overtime, and finished with 21 saves. Rene Bourque, Olli Jokinen, Jarome Iginla and Curtis Glencross scored the Flames’ goals.
Calgary lost for just the second time in its last 10 games and suffered the same fate as conference-leading Vancouver two days before. Anaheim can complete the Western Canada sweep Sunday in Edmonton – an easy one to overlook but also the most winnable game of an otherwise tough trip.
A few more notes:
The Western Conference standings are ridiculous. The Ducks are two points out of third and two points out of eighth.
The ebb and flow of trends over the course of an NHL season are fascinating. Winning away from home and getting secondary scoring were arguably two of the Ducks’ three biggest problems at the beginning of the season (the first being defensive-zone play). On Nov. 26, the Ducks had received 54 goals from defensemen or top-six forwards, and three from all the other forwards combined. That same day, they were 3-7-2 away from home. Today’s win left them a respectable 14-13-3 on the road. The third line of Dan Sexton, Brandon McMillan and Maxim Lapierre spent a good amount of time in the offensive zone for the second straight game (McMillan’s goal came short-handed on a breakaway with Corey Perry). Their three biggest weaknesses have improved and – what do you know – the Ducks are 13-4-0 since Dec. 26, a stretch of 17 games without consecutive losses.
Randy Carlyle found a creative workaround for finding the best defensive partner for Francois Beauchemin: Play seven defensemen. The new #24 saw the most time with Fowler, Andy Sutton, Lubomir Visnovsky and Toni Lydman in 24 shifts spanning 18:07. He was credited with a team-high three hits.
Selanne’s three assists moved him past Henri Richard into 53rd place on the all-time list (with 690). His power-play goal put him one behind Dino Ciccarelli for eighth place all-time (231) and three behind Joe Sakic for 14th on the all-time goals chart (622).
Per the Elias Sports Bureau: Fowler became the second-youngest defenseman to score a regular-season
overtime goal since the NHL introduced the five-minute overtime period in
1983. Hartford’s Sylvain Cote holds that record, with an overtime goal
against the Rangers on Feb. 21, 1985 at 19 years, 33 days (35 days
younger than Fowler was on Friday).
The Ducks have won five straight away from home. That marks their longest road win streak since a six-game streak
from Mar. 19 to Apr. 4, 2009. The current streak equals the
third-longest in team history (the record is seven).