(SportsNetwork.com) – The Calgary Flames will try to put an embarrassing loss
behind them when they visit the sizzling Anaheim Ducks on Sunday for Game 2 of
the Western Conference semifinals.
The Flames are coming off their first playoff series win in over a decade, but
the club may have been caught resting on its laurels Thursday night at
Anaheim’s Honda Center.
The Ducks scored six straight goals to open the game and cruised to a lopsided
6-1 triumph, grabbing the early advantage in this best-of-seven set. Anaheim,
the top seed in the West, has yet to lose in the 2015 postseason after
sweeping Winnipeg in the opening round.
“It’s a good wake-up call for us, for sure,” Calgary forward Mikael Backlund
said. “We got a taste of what a really good playoff team is like.”
Corey Perry had two goals and two assists while Ryan Getzlaf added a goal and
three helpers to lead the rout. Emerson Etem, Patrick Maroon and Matt Beleskey
also lit the lamp, while Frederik Andersen turned away 23 shots in the easy
“We’ve had so many let-downs in the year that we wanted to keep our foot on
the gas the whole game,” said Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau. “Against a
team like Calgary, you don’t want to give them any chance because they never
Sam Bennett had the only goal of the game for the Flames. The 18-year-old
rookie notched his third marker of the postseason to end Andersen’s shutout
bid with 9:16 left in the third period.
Calgary defeated the Vancouver Canucks in six games during the opening round
to take its first series win since 2004, when the club made it to the Stanley
Cup Finals before losing in seven games to Tampa Bay.
The Flames now hope to regroup and deal Anaheim its first loss of these
playoffs before heading home stuck in a 0-2 hole. Calgary is set to host Game
3 on Tuesday.
“We know what we have to do and we have two days to get ready for the next
one,” said Calgary forward Matt Stajan. “We just have to come out way harder
Former Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller had a rough Game 1 for the Flames. He was
pulled early in the second period after allowing three goals on 14 shots,
while Karri Ramo also gave up three goals on 21 shots.
It marked the second straight time Hiller was pulled from a game. He started
Game 6 against Vancouver but was replaced early in the contest by Ramo after
allowing two goals on three shots. Ramo earned the victory in the clincher
after stopping 17 shots.
Head coach Bob Hartley is expected to go with Ramo as the starter for Game 2.
It would be the first career playoff start for the 28-year-old Finn.
Hartley used both goaltenders fairly evenly in the regular season with Hiller
getting 44 starts compared to Ramo’s 32.
In addition to picking a new goaltender for tonight, Hartley is hoping he
won’t have to replace forwards Jiri Hudler and Michael Ferland in the lineup
after both players left Game 1 with injuries and did not return.
The veteran Hudler paced the club with three goals in Round 1 while also
adding three helpers. Ferland, a 23-year-old rookie, set the physical tone in
the matchup against Vancouver. He also scored twice in Game 6 and added two
assists in the series.
Hudler is expected to play in Sunday’s contest, while Ferland is questionable.
For the Ducks, backup goaltender John Gibson did not dress for Game 1 due to
the flu, leaving Jason LaBarbera as the No. 2 option behind Andersen. Gibson
was unavailable for the first round due to an upper-body injury, but returned
to practice last week and could suit up tonight.
This is the second postseason encounter between the Ducks and Flames. The only
other playoff meeting was in 2006 when Anaheim ousted Calgary from the first
round in seven games.