ANAHEIM -- It was the perfect opportunity to make amends for so many bad road performances.
Following a dreadful showing the night before in Los Angeles, the Calgary Flames faced the right opponent to prove they were still on track to be one of the NHL's elite.
Squaring off against an Anaheim Ducks squad leading the Western Conference race, the Flames even had the benefit of going against third-string goalie Michael Wall, sent to the wolves due to injuries suffered by Jean-Sebastien Giguere and backup Ilya Bryzgalov.
Instead, the Flames were outmatched and outgunned by a flattering 5-3 count last night at the Honda Center.
"It's two games in a row we weren't as good as we've been playing lately," said captain Jarome Iginla.
"Once again, it was all the way around. Two games, we weren't good enough."
So much for enjoying a trip to sunny Southern California. Sure, the Flames received a short respite from the bitter cold back home but they used it in an all-too-familiar fashion when away from the Saddledome.
Chalking up another loss.
"Our biggest thing is finding a way to play on the road like we do at home," said forward Marcus Nilson. "We've got to figure out how to come out with those good starts and not worry about where we're playing or who we're playing. We seem to be awesome at home and bad on the road. It's something we've got to address."
The Flames have a mere three wins to their name in a dozen games away from the 'Dome this season. Their home record is nearly a mirror opposite.
For that, Iginla pointed to the same old bugaboos, an anemic powerplay and substandard penalty kill.
"It's the same things we've been saying, our special teams -- on the road -- on both sides have to be better," he said. "We got a late powerplay goal but it's too little, too late."
One of Teemu Selanne's two tallies for Anaheim came during a man-advantage. Same thing for the goal by former Calgary Hitmen star Ryan Getzlaf. Samuel Pahlsson and Todd Marchant, into an empty net, rounded out the scoring for Anaheim.
Kristian Huselius replied with a pair for Calgary, while Daymond Langkow added a powerplay tally of his own with 20.9 ticks remaining.
In Calgary's favour is a schedule with five of six at home. But due to three losses in four outings, they've fallen back to the .500 mark at 10-10-2, a discouraging drop having climbed out of their early season hole.
"Every loss is disappointing but nobody's feeling sorry for ourselves," Iginla said. "We're at .500 but .500 is not our goal. Our goal is to be in a playoff spot and, right now, we're a game out of that."
Granted, the Ducks are a formidable opponent with their pair of Norris Trophy-candidate defencemen and deep forward group.
But giving Calgary hope was the fact Wall -- who attended Flames rookie camp in 2004 -- was making his NHL debut. Plus, there should have been extra oomph after a miserable outing Saturday night against the Kings.
But the Flames sent a mere 11 shots on goal through two periods and 22 in total.
"You're never going to win a game with that few shots on net," Nilson said.
Jamie McLennan, starting for only the second time this season, suffered the loss.