The inability to overcome a curse of one-point games has plagued the Calgary Flames since Day 1 of the season, leaving the team posing little threat to a string of playoff bound powerhouse teams in recent days. But in a franchise statement game two weeks ago on home ice, the Flames obliterated the then No. 1 Anaheim Ducks in an all-out 7-2 crushing, handing the Ducks their most embarrassing loss of the season while simultaneously showing Calgary fans a glimpse of hope for next season.
With every intention of maintaining the same control over Anaheim for another go-around, the two teams met again in Calgary Wednesday night for a decision that would either prove fluke or talent of the previous matchup.
While Anaheim took home a 3-2 victory, the value of the game Calgary played was not lost on the team or its fans. The Flames might be headed to an early offseason in a few weeks, but the rebuilding efforts of the organization over the past few years are finally showing the right signs of life; Calgary outworked the Ducks through most of the game and held on to lead until a 3rd period push by the visitors.
With redemption in hand, the Ducks’ win also helped move the team to within two points of the Pacific Division leading San Jose Sharks. Anaheim is on the climb up the standings in hopes of avoiding the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the playoffs; the Kings are almost a sure lock for the No. 3 seed in the division.
Despite winning this season’s series against Los Angeles three games to one, Anaheim would have an uphill road to climb in the matchup, particularly with Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, who is without doubt one of the toughest netminders to get past in the post season. Although, hosting a freeway faceoff series of this caliber between the two arch rivals is nothing less than exactly what the Southern California hockey faithful have been eyeing for all season.