Connect with us

Calgary Flames

Flames Rebound With Big Win Against Ducks As Rollercoaster Continues

The Calgary Flames overcame a thrashing in L.A. on Monday with a big win over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, beating them 5-1 with a strong team effort to keep pace in the NHL playoff race.



Hey, at least the Calgary Flames beat a non-playoff team. 

The plod of point accumulation continues, and the longshot Flames kept pace with the Winnipeg Jets and retained their minimal lead over the threatening Nashville Predators, who both won their games earlier on Tuesday. 

The Flames earned an important pair of road points in convincing fashion, beating the Anaheim Ducks 5-1 about 24 hours after dropping an 8-2 decision to the Los Angeles Kings even as they're surrounded by speculation over rifts between their coach and players

“We talked about it, having two bad starts in a row. We knew we had to be better. Scoring right away always helps,” said Calgary Flames centre Mikael Backlund, whose team scored just 37 seconds in with Nick Ritchie dropping a rebound into the open side. 

“We wanted to come out and show we were better than last night. Last night wasn’t good enough and wasn’t acceptable. We wanted to rebound from that.”

They did. In a big way. Despite how poorly they performed the previous night in L.A., when they could have moved to within two points of a playoff position with a win. 

"Total opposite of last night,” Backlund said after a 43-shot effort. “Last night, we barely touched the puck and tonight, we had it a lot more. That's how we want to play."

They did it without the anticipated revival of some of their struggling stars. While Nazem Kadri went scoreless after an upping of his ice time, and Jonathan Huberdeau’s single assist probably should have gone to Backlund, who stepped over the pass to let the puck trickle to goal-scorer Troy Stecher, the Flames got three assists from Tyler Toffoli and big goals from Ritchie, Stecher, Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane and Rasmus Andersson. 

The lineup has been fluid lately, to say the least, and Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter took Jakob Pelletier out of the lineup to get Milan Lucic in. Adam Ruzicka also came out, with Walker Duehr added. 

Dan Vladar also made his first start in 11 games after Sutter handed the stretch drive over to his starter, Jacob Markstrom, a couple of weeks back. He got warmed up in L.A. when he jumped in for the third period of that gong show, and played well on Tuesday, making 19 stops on the night. 

“Guys came in and did a really good job for us,” said Sutter. “Good to see Big Nick score, first shift. It’s good to score the first goal on the road.

“Troy’s given us some energy; he’s done a good job for us.”

With Chris Tanev missing the game with an upper body injury suffered on Monday, Dennis Gilbert drew in alongside Stecher. Nikita Zadorov teamed with MacKenzie Weeger and Andersson and Noah Hanifin were reunited. 

It worked out. But their next biggest game of the season is always the next one, unless or until they’re mathematically eliminated from the NHL playoffs. 

The Vegas Golden Knights are next to kick off a two-game homestand before yet another road trip. 

"You've got to go a game at a time. Because if you don't, then there's literally guys in here that were pulling the plug,” Sutter said of his team’s biggest challenge. “It's really simple. You just want to keep every game meaningful."

Get Calgary Hockey Now in your inbox

Sign up to get the best Calgary Flames news, opinion and analysis sent directly to your inbox every day.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.