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Ducks third-period rally falls short in Calgary

By in Press Enterprise on January 7, 2018

By Eric Stephens

CALGARY, Alberta – Finally, the Ducks had their three pillars that wear a letter on the front on their jerseys. Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler and Corey Perry were all together in action for the first time in their injury-plagued season.

It lasted one period until Kesler was absent for the second, having a lower-body ailment worked on to get him on the ice for the third. That’s when the rest of his teammates also got themselves back into a key Pacific Division game against the Calgary Flames.

The Ducks took care of a two-goal deficit within the first seven minutes of an inspired final 20 minutes but Dougie Hamilton snuffed out their effort to steal a point Saturday night at Scotiabank Saddledome. Hamilton scored with 16 seconds left to give the Flames a dramatic 3-2 win.

It seemed as if the Ducks (19-15-9) would grab something out of a game that was far from their best effort. Jakob Silfverberg scored a shorthanded goal and Getzlaf followed with a slap shot at the 6:50 for the equalizer.

But the Ducks’ mistakes in their own end did them in. Hamilton, their point-producing offensive defenseman, came down the slot alone and put a shot through Ducks goalie John Gibson.

The Ducks were finally starting to feel complete. Perry returned from a knee injury that cost 11 games. The winger was hurt on Dec. 11, just as Getzlaf came back from a fractured cheekbone that sidelined him 19 games. They still didn’t have Kesler, who was in the final stages of recovery from hip surgery.

It seemed as if the Ducks were primed to start their usual second-half surge. The pieces were back in place. But the puzzle was a jumbled mess for the first half of Saturday night’s contest that grew increasingly emotional as it wore on.

Outplayed by Calgary […]    

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