After clinching a playoff spot Friday night against the San Jose Sharks, the Calgary Flames were playing for positioning in the last regular season home game of the year against the Anaheim Ducks. The Flames came into the game sitting in the first wildcard spot in the west, 5 points behind Anaheim, while the Ducks came in tied for first in the Pacific division with the Edmonton Oilers with 97 points.
Calgary controlled the play early on, hemming the Ducks in for much of the first ten minutes. The Flames failed to beat Anaheim goalie Jonathan Bernier on an early powerplay, before Dougie Hamilton took a slashing penalty mid-way through the first. The Ducks would make Calgary pay with the man-advantage, Patrick Eaves followed a bouncing puck through a screen and slammed one past Calgary goalie Brian Elliot to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead. The teams exchanged chances until the final minute of the period when Jakub Silfverberg took a nifty feed from Kevin Bieksa, snapping it past Elliot making it 2-0 Ducks. Anaheim out shot Calgary 10-9 in the first and took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
In the second it was the Flames who would strike first on the powerplay. Kris Versteeg took a feed from T.J Brodie and buried one up under the bar past Bernier to cut the Anaheim lead to 2-1. Versteeg wasn’t stopping there as Calgary would get a 5 on 3 midway through the second. Versteeg took a pass from Brodie below the goal line, displayed great patience in out-waiting Bernier, and slid it past the Ducks goalie to even the game at 2. Goalie Brian Elliot was the reason this one would stay tied until late in the second period as he made three huge saves on Anaheim forwards in the slot, the last a sliding kick-save on Nick Ritchie, one that the Anaheim forward would like to have another crack at. The Ducks would get one late in the second, finally solving Elliot, as Ryan Getzlaf made a great cross-ice pass setting up Korbinian Holzer to give Anaheim a 3-2 lead heading into the third period.
In the third period it was the Flames who would net the first goal. With 14:18 remaining the puck would find its way back to the point to captain Mark Giordano, he would fire one on that would get deflected by Calgary forward Michael Frolik, past Bernier and the game was all even at 3. Anaheim would land the final blow as Logan Shaw capitalized on a Brian Elliot rebound with 3:06 left, the goal would serve as the eventual game winner.
The Flames hit the road for their final three games of the season in California beginning the trip at Honda Centre on Tuesday to finish the home-and-home series against the Ducks.