Ducks overcome abysmal 2nd period before losing to Flames in OT

ANAHEIM — Despite a poorly played second period, the Ducks emerged from Honda Center with a point on Friday night, heading into the Christmas break with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames in the second game of 10 straight at home.

Center Mason McTavish and winger Jakob Silfverberg scored for the Ducks and Lukas Dostal stopped 42 pucks, his fourth straight game with more than 40 shots against and his second with 40 or more saves.

Defenseman Michael Stone and winger Brett Ritchie scored goals in regulation for Calgary before defenseman Rasmus Andersson ended the game in overtime. Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves.

“The game was in spurts again, a really hard one to evaluate especially when we got into penalty trouble again in the second period,” Coach Dallas Eakins said. “But I think right now – like the amount of games we’ve played on the road, how fast we play when we come home, with our injuries and the fatigue factor – our guys need a break. And so, this holiday break right now is going to be an important one for us.”

The Ducks threatened in overtime but ended up ceding the winner to Andersson, who sunk a rising wrist shot from the right faceoff dot 2:24 into the extra session. The Ducks had been 4-1 in games decided in overtime before Friday while the Flames had gone 1-4.

“Wow, how many crossbars and posts did we have? I think just on the power play we had three or four. We stuck with it, we found a way, and it was nice to win one in OT,” Andersson said.

Shortly before the goal, Calgary defenseman Nikita Zadorov won a puck battle by committing what Eakins and neutral observers alike considered an interference penalty that was not called.

The Ducks narrowly out-shot the Flames 12-11 in the final 20 minutes. They stayed out of the penalty box and drew three minors, one of which led to an equalizer that ultimately forced overtime.

After being saved by the horn at the end of the second period, the Ducks regrouped. They drew an early penalty and converted on the ensuing power play at the 3:28 mark of the third period. Silfverberg received the puck near the left faceoff dot, gathered and sent a shot to the near side for his fifth goal of the season.

“He does a lot of little things that go unnoticed … he’s an absolute pro and a good leader,” Eakins said. “When you start to see him getting rewarded with goals, not only is it big for our team, that’s all he ever cares about, but I know it feels good for him.”

The Ducks had been very fortunate to head to the second intermission down by only one goal after turning in a period that saw them out-shot 23-1 with a glut of opportunities for the Flames, headlined by four power plays. The Ducks killed all four penalties, but they spent all but a couple of fleeting moments on the ropes.

The period began inauspiciously and got worse. Silfverberg was boxed for slashing, but the Ducks killed the penalty thanks to center Nazem Kadri’s prime chance clanging off the post and a solid stop by Dostal on winger Andrew Mangiapane.

“Our killers and (Dostal) did a hell of a job. Those were obviously massive kills and the game could have gotten away from us very quickly,” said Eakins, who, like winger Troy Terry, again stressed the lack of rhythm and ability to dictate play as the main issues with the penalties.

Their reprieve was an ephemeral one, as 32 seconds after their power play expired, they took their second lead of the night off Ritchie’s backhand shot from the slot, which came after an own-zone giveaway by defenseman John Klingberg.

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Through 20 minutes, the Ducks were disciplined, taking no minor penalties and drawing a pair. That paid off with 3:16 left in the first period, when their second power play gave them their first goal. Defenseman Cam Fowler dropped the puck to McTavish between the right circle and the goal line for a sharp-angle one-timer. It banked in off Markstrom’s shoulder for McTavish’s second goal in as many games and his sixth point in his last five outings.

“We’re trying to do with him and Zegras the same thing that we did with Troy Terry. Mac T has been a real easy one because he’s so invested in his game,” Eakins said. “If he keeps doing that, he’s just going to consistently get better.”

That didn’t mean the Ducks kept a totally clean penalty sheet, however, as this matchup featured two of the most pugnacious teams in the NHL. Both the Ducks and Calgary ranked in the top 10 in terms of fighting majors and major penalties overall across the past five seasons, so it was no surprise to see Ducks forward Max Comtois tussle with Calgary defenseman Noah Hanifin late in the first period.

The visitors had gotten on the board first, 4:19 into the match when Stone’s seeing-eye slap shot from the left point zipped through traffic and past Dostal.

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