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STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:16 PM ET

ANAHEIM -- There's a fine line between playing a physical game and one with reckless abandon.

The Calgary Flames came out hitting everything that moved on the ice at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim last night but the strategy may have backfired.

Countering with speed rushes and a more potent powerplay, the Ducks handed the Flames a technical knockout with a 4-1 win despite being on the receiving end of many big hits.

"It's a tough one," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla, who scored Calgary's only goal and dropped the gloves with Travis Moen in the second period. "It could have gone either way. They found a way to win it, though. That doesn't make us feel any better."

Flames assistant coach Rich Preston was more blunt in his assessment.

"We didn't play very well. That's the bottom line," he said.

"We got behind early and it was an uphill struggle. We talked about getting back to .500 and making sure everyone was ready to go but we didn't have everybody tonight."

One of the side-effects of the Flames' crash-and-bang strategy was penalty trouble and the Mighty Ducks seized the opportunity.

With Marcus Nilson, one of their best penalty killers, in the box for hooking late in the first period, the Flames fell behind 1-0 on Joffrey Lupul's fifth goal of the season.

Andy McDonald then extended his goal-scoring streak to three games thanks to a lucky bounce with four minutes left in the second period.

D-man Joe DiPenta's point shot was lost in a crowd in front of the Flames net but McDonald pulled it around the bodies and shovelled it back at the crease. The puck tipped off a defender's stick and slipped through Miikka Kiprusoff's pads.

The Ducks had the majority of early scoring chances at even strength, too, using their speed to put the Flames defenders on their heels.

Calgary was much more physical, though, with solid checks from rearguards Bryan Marchment and Dion Phaneuf earning reactions from the crowd.

Even Daymond Langkow got in on the action, crashing hard into Jonathan Hedstrom.

The physical play began to turn nasty in the second period with both teams crashing into their opponents at every opportunity.

Jarome Iginla tried to inspire his team -- and maybe himself -- with a tilt against Ducks winger Travis Moen in the second period.

The two spun around while throwing punches from a distance with Moen landing more of his attempts before falling to the ice and receiving a couple from the Flames captain.

Iginla scored his third goal of the season on the powerplay early in the third period to give the Flames hope. Iginla nearly tied it at 2-2 minutes later, ringing a one-timer off the post.

But another powerplay goal, this time from defenceman Keith Carney, secured the Ducks victory. Teemu Selanne rounded out the scoring, also with the man advantage.

The Ducks had three powerplay goals in six opportunities. Calgary's powerplay was 1-for-7.

The Flames have a chance to get back in the win column tonight in Phoenix (8 p.m.)

Said Langkow: "We can't get frustrated. We've got to completely forget this game."

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ANAHEIM MIGHTY DUCKS: 4

CALGARY FLAMES: 1


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