They all knew the honeymoon period wouldn’t last forever, but Calgary Flames fans were hoping it would have lasted longer than two weeks. Following a 5-game streak in which the Flames picked up at least one point in every game, Week 3 of Calgary’s regular season didn’t go quite as well. Although they only played two games, neither resulted in a victory.
It’s been nine years since Calgary has won a game in Anaheim, and right off the bat the mighty Ducks set the tone for the Flames’ first regulation loss of this season. Dustin Penner grabbed the early lead for the Ducks just over three minutes into the first, in his first game back from a lower-body injury. At the halfway mark of the period, Kyle Palmieri’s wrister doubled the score. Quite unlike their previous games, the Flames played sloppily and made many little mistakes that cost them the win.
Shorthanded on a penalty to Tim Jackman, (for butt-ending Sami Vatanen) Lee Stempniak managed to cut the lead in half before the end of the first.
Anaheim goaltender Viktor Fasth stopped all 11 shots faced, and Teemu Selanne scored his long-awaited first goal of the season, putting the Ducks back up by two late into the second.
Though the Ducks did not put up much of a fight themselves in the final frame (they were limited to only 4 shots on goal to the Flames’ 17), Jiri Hudler’s lone goal at 4:15 of the third secured Anaheim’s sixth straight win.
Mikael Backlund did play a very strong game though it wasn’t enough to carry the team. Sean Monahan was held without a shot on goal all night, and Curtis Glencross, one of the undoubted leaders of the team, ended the night as a minus-3.
The Flames fell to the Ducks 3-2 at the Honda Center for the 17th consecutive time.
The San Jose Sharks have been on a roll since the beginning of the season, and they continued that roll without even giving the Flames time to settle into the game on Saturday night. Brent Burns opened the scoring less than a minute into the first. And with less than a minute left to play in the first, former Flame Scott Hannan padded the lead. Karri Ramo was in net in San Jose, replacing Joey MacDonald, who played the majority of the games that established the Flames’ nice little point streak. The period was a messy one for Calgary, unfocused and all over the place, while the Sharks maintained high energy and dominated the first 20 minutes.
The second period fared a bit better for the visiting team, as Sean Monahan added to his points tally with a powerplay goal on a feed from Sven Baertschi from behind the net. Monahan now leads his rookie class with 8 points, just above Nathan Mackinnon’s 7.
However, a series of bad penalties by the Flames, the Sharks steamed ahead, scoring two unanswered powerplay goals of their own, and they didn’t stop there.
Mikael Backlund’s shorthand goal and Jiri Hudler’s slapshot brought the Flames to within one early in the third, but a hooking penalty to Mark Giordano gave the Sharks the man advantage once again and Joe Pavelski got his second powerplay goal of the night.
Logan Couture added an empty netter to bring the final score to 6-3 San Jose.
The return of Mike Cammalleri to the lineup may help the team get back on track (Cammalleri hasn’t played a game yet this season due to a hand injury) and the Flames begin Week 4 in Los Angeles against the Kings on Monday night, hoping to redeem themselves from back-to-back losses.
Graduate of Mount Royal University’s Journalism program and a freelance sports writer from Calgary, Alberta.