Flames Down Ducks for 4th Straight Win

CALGARY — Andrew Mangiapane scored the go-ahead goal at 16:31 as the Calgary Flames beat the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 on Friday for their fourth straight victory.

The rookie left winger tried to pass the puck across to Garnet Hathaway on a 2-on-1. Instead it hit Ducks defenceman Jaycob Megna and came right back to him and he ripped a shot over the shoulder of Ryan Miller.

TJ Brodie also scored for Calgary (38-16-7), which moved three points ahead of the San Jose Sharks atop the Pacfic Division. The Flames also lead the Western Conference.

Derek Grant scored for Anaheim (24-28-9), which fell to 1-1-0 at the halfway point in a four-game road trip that continues Saturday night in Edmonton. The Ducks had won three of their first four under interim head coach Bob Murray.

Miller had 26 stops to fall to 6-3-1.

Making his fifth consecutive start for the first time this season, Mike Smith made 25 saves to improve to 18-11-2.

Mike Smith Flames
Calgary Flames goalie Mike Smith (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)

The only two goals in a lacklustre opening 40 minutes came five minutes apart early in the second.

At 1:22, Brodie’s point shot deflected off Megna and slipped past Miller.

Smith was the culprit on the tying goal. He left his net to attempt to play a puck that was coming around the end boards. Instead, Carter Rowney arrived at the same time and flicked the puck into the slot where Grant blasted a one-timer into the empty net.

Visibly upset about the blunder, Smith slammed his stick on the ice afterwards.

For the Flames, the offensive struggles continue for three of their top offensive players. In the last 11 games, Johnny Gaudreau (1-5-6), Sean Monahan (2-4-6) and Matthew Tkachuk (0-2-2) have all seen their points dry up.

Hoping they could get each other going, Calgary coach Bill Peters moved Tkachuk onto the Gaudreau-Monahan line last game and he started Friday night that way. But before the first period ended, Elias Lindholm was back in his usual spot on the top line and Tkachuk was back with Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik.

Both lines were held off the scoresheet.

Making things that much more difficult for a Ducks offence that’s last in the league was the late scratch of leading scorer Ryan Getzlaf (upper body).

Miller had the best stop of the game in the first period when he dove across the net to rob Austin Czarnik’s backhander. Czarnik had a three-game goal streak snapped.

Notes: Rrookie Calgary D Oliver Kylington (lower body) did not play… Three Flames reached career game milestones — Mikael Backlund (600), Sam Bennett (300) and Noah Hanifin (300)…. The Flames improves to 28-4-1 when they score first.

Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press