Flames burned by late penalty in Game 2 loss to Ducks
ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Calgary Flames went full knucklehead in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series Thursday against the Ducks at Honda Center. They took seven minor penalties and lost 3-2, proving once again that poise and discipline are every bit as important as speed and skill.
The Flames knew they couldn’t repeat their march to the penalty box and expect to win Game 2 on Saturday. They had to clean up their act. They had to keep their composure in order to even their best-of-7 series with the Ducks before the series shifts to Calgary for Games 3 and 4.
This time, the Flames mostly got it right, rallying smartly from a 2-0 deficit in the opening 6 minutes, 44 seconds to forge a 2-2 deadlock going into the third period. The Flames’ Mikael Backlund changed the game’s complexion with a shorthanded goal at 18:24 of the first.
Calgary couldn’t win here, though. Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton was caught holding Corey Perry’s stick and Ryan Getzlaf scored on a pinball shot of for a power-play goal at 15:44 of the final period that sent the Ducks to another 3-2 victory and a 2-0 series lead.
Calgary lost its 29th consecutive game at Honda Center, dating to the 2006 playoffs. Until the end, the Flames had avoided the penalty box and took advantage of a Ducks’ lapse when Sean Monahan scored a tying power-play goal at 7:01 of the second period.
“It’s one game,” Calgary’s Troy Brouwer said beforehand. “We’re going to learn from our mistakes. We calmed down quite a bit after the game. Guys were playing soccer yesterday. There were some good smiles. Watching some video. Learn from our mistakes.”
Brouwer said the Flames chilled out Friday by watching “Tropic Thunder.”
“We were treating this the way it needs to be treated,” he said.
In other words, the Flames took a deep breath and went to work doing the things they did right in Game 1 again in Game 2 and tired to fix the things that went haywire Thursday, starting with cutting out their undisciplined penalties. The goal was to play smart between the whistles.
“The penalties were not penalties you want to take,” said Hamilton, who was penalized three times in Game 1. “I’m going to try to fix that (in Game 2). It’s part of the game. Just move on and get ready for tonight. I don’t think too much. Just try to execute and play better.”
Through two periods, it was mission accomplished for the Flames.