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Ducks put together a strong effort in win over Calgary Flames

By in Press Enterprise on December 30, 2017

By Eric Stephens

ANAHEIM – The definitive streak of futility for the Calgary Flames at Honda Center was finally ended in their first visit back in October. The Ducks made sure the visitors didn’t get too comfortable on this particular stop.

Rickard Rakell’s power-play goal early in the third period rewarded a strong, start-to-finish effort by the Ducks in a 2-1 win that was played with some playoff-like intensity before a sellout crowd of 17,174 on Friday night.

As they operated with a man advantage that came on a delay of game penalty by Calgary goalie Mike Smith, the Ducks quickly put in their winning goal off a faceoff win by Ryan Getzlaf and some crisp puck movement from his teammates.

Cam Fowler got the puck at the point and threw it toward the net. Jakob Silfverberg gave Ryan Getzlaf a quick touch pass and Getzlaf found Rakell on the left side of the ice. The winger hammered in his fourth goal in as many games and his team-leading 12th of the season.

From there, the Ducks (17-14-8) protected their hard-fought edge. Ryan Kesler blocked two straight shots from the Flames’ Michael Stone and shook off some pain to return to the fray. Rakell threw his body in front of other attempts. John Gibson, who had 22 saves, made the key stops when needed.

This was a complete effort and the presence of the Flames, a first-round playoff opponent last spring, helped the Ducks ratchet up some emotion in another Pacific Division tilt after losing their way Wednesday against Vegas following a strong opening period.

“Every game is different,” Ducks defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. “Some games are maybe a little bit more emotional than others and obviously Calgary is a team that we’ve had a rivalry with for quite some time.

“A couple playoff series with them so it’s maybe […]    

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