A legend was honored Tuesday night and his reward was one of the most entertaining games of the season for both Calgary and Anaheim. The great Peter Maher, who retired at the end of last season was honored in a pre game ceremony which saw many Flames highlights over the years of his tenure. Maher's resume for broadcasting is second to none. He called the Vancouver 2010 Olympic finals when Sidney Crosby scored the golden goal, A 1989 Flames Stanley Cup run and most recently the Flames run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004 when they fell to the Lightning in 7 games. Peter was a true icon in the city of Calgary and deserved this grand ovation. But there was a game to be played this night and it was a doozie.
The Flames were finding difficulty in producing chances throughout the first frame with the neutral zone being clogged up by the likes of Ryan Kesler and the strong forward group of the Ducks. Early on when former Flame Tim Jackman took a run at Johnny Gaudreau who ironically was the last goal that Peter Maher had ever called, Derek Engelland stepped up and delivered a quick but entertaining fight. Engelland was sent to the dressing room for repairs on his hand but returned shortly thereafter. The Flames were awarded the games first powerplay when Jackman also took a slashing call on Engelland but were unsuccessful in generating any quality scoring chances. Vatanen one of the most promising prospects for the Ducks capitalized on his scoring chance and took the lead with just under 4 minutes remaining. Shots 9-4 Ducks.
Early into the second period the Flames were called for a tripping call when Granlund tripped up Vatanen but were succesfull in their kills blocking the shooting lanes for the Ducks. Halfway through the second playing one of the top teams in the league things were not going as planned for the Flames. Only generating 6 shots through 30 minutes of the game wouldn't be good enough to put two points on the board. Dennis Wideman who would be involved later on took the Flames second tripping call of the stanza and Matt Beleskey cashed in on his 8th of the year off a Hampus Lindholm point shot. 2-0 Ducks. Anaheim continued their dominance throughout the period and put 10 more shots on Hiller and lead 19-7 in shots.
The Flames and their fans finally woke up in the third. Immeditely generating chances with their speed and crisp clean passing. Palmieri was off for roughing just 44 seconds into the period with Glencross and Giordano missing clear cut chances to bring the game within a goal. The effort into the third was rewarded when T.J Brodie kept a puck in just onside, drove to the net and put a shot on Andersen who let a juicy rebound to Hudler who drove a shot high right side to put the game at 2-1. Calgary pushed their play sensing the Ducks were unable to keep up with the speed of play and Palmieri was again off for another penalty this time for hooking but the Ducks were up to the test. Calgary's Jonas Hiller kept them in the game at tight moments and gave them a great chance to win. They rewarded Hiller just before the 10 minute mark of the period when Markus Granlund collected a neutral zone puck who set up Dennis Wideman to fire home the Flames second goal of the night. Teams all nodded up at two, Wideman was again a part of the play just under 6 minutes to go. Wideman found the puck after Johnny Gaudreau did some excellent work down low to fire home his second of the night giving the Flames a 3-2 lead. The Ducks did not want to let this game slip away and when Jooris went off for a tripping call, Palmieri made up for his previous mistakes and nodded the game at 3's.
Overtime / Shootout
Overtime was dominated by the Flames and "Johnny Hockey". Gaudreau was electric in the 4 on 4 play, nearly beating Andersen on not one but two wraparounds. Hudler also had his chance to seal the game for the Flames but Andersen again was up to the task. WIth just 20 seconds left Ryan Kesler went off for cross checking against Brodie giving the Flames one last crack at the can. Wideman looking to net his third of the game pushed one just above the crossbar which brought the game to a shootout.
First up Johnny Hockey dangled his way towards Andersen. Goal.
Kesler up for the Ducks who received a large amount of boo's. Goal.
Both Hudler and Silfverberg failed to score which brought up Sean Monahan who fired a wrister over the glove of Andersen. Goal.
Corey Perry was the last shooter for the Ducks and missed giving Calgary the 4-3 shootout win and a win for Hiller over his former club. He was quite happy after..