The Ducks were on a scoring and winning streak, having won three in a row and scoring 16 goals in the process. The game against the Calgary Flames did not highlight more offense. It highlighted goaltending.
Jonas Hiller, who came back after missing a game and a half with a lower body injury, was impressive in net for Anaheim, although he did not have many shots to face, especially the first two periods. Miikka Kiprusoff was equally impressive at his end, edging out Hiller by gaining the shut out.
It would be lovely to report all the scoring and highlights of the first three periods, but there were none. There were a couple close calls, however.
At 9:32 of the third period, Saku Koivu came this close to adding another goal to the bevy he scored on Tuesday night. The puck went through Kiprusoff’s legs, but the goalie was able to cover it up before it crossed the goal line. At least that is what the review determined. It could have gone in. It might have stayed out.
“They went upstairs,” said Koivu. “Someone said they didn’t have a good view from up top because Kiprusoff’s pad was on top of it. The puck was in the net, but did the puck cross the line afterwards? No one could really tell.”
When you need “definitive” to make the call, it was no goal.
Corey Perry, who had a hat trick on Sunday, came close with 3:07 left in regulation. Kipper denied him, barely, but close only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes.
Perry could not settle for a game winning goal, but instead had to be happy at being named to the All Star Game earlier in the day. Teemu Selanne, the ageless wonder, was going to get the nod, but he conceded to the young ‘uns and said the reigning MVP should be there instead. Selanne felt he’d been to more than enough of those things (he was All Star MVP one year).
The game did not need a shootout to decide the outcome, although that would have been ok. Instead, Blair Jones, newly acquired from Tampa Bay (January 6), got the game winner in overtime.
At 1:51, Jones recovered his own rebound and finished off the puck behind Hiller after the Flames took advantage of the Ducks, who were out of position.
The Ducks now head to Edmonton with a point, but still having difficulties on the road. The Oilers have been struggling for a while, winning only once in their last eight games. If Anaheim can take advantage, they can continue earning precious points. They would still be in 29th place in the NHL, but at least they would be digging themselves closer to 28th.
It’s the little things in life….