Everything's Ducky

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

Maybe it was the Power- ade.

The goal-scoring woes aren't completely in the past but the Calgary Flames found something of an appeasing elixir last night in their powerplay.

A club in the middle of the NHL pack when it comes to man-advantage markers, the Flames clicked three times in a row with the powerplay en route to a 3-1 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Defenceman Andrew Ference had a big game with two assists.

"Our powerplay, I don't think, is too high in the league at home and we've had some pretty rough patches," he said.

"For the guys to come through on special teams is huge.

"It's like every night we have a good special-teams game, we win. Either we kill really well or get a couple on our PP and it really propels our game."

With one outing left before the Olympic break, the Flames upped their record to 32-17-7 and continue to hold top spot in the Northwest Division.

Matthew Lombardi began the festivities for the 19,289 gathered in the Saddledome just over six minutes into the clash.

With Marcus Nilson setting the screen in front, Lombardi worked his way to the top of the right circle and snapped a top-corner bullet past the blocker of Ducks netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Anaheim, showing why it has been one of the league's better clubs since December, pulled even with a powerplay goal of its own, courtesy of the unheralded Andy McDonald.

Teemu Selanne rang a shot off the post and the puck came directly to McDonald at the other side of the net. McDonald had no trouble hitting the open net, upping his career-best point streak to nine games.

However, the Flames' ability to click on their two powerplay chances in the second period made all the difference.

First, Daymond Langkow notched the game-winner in the early minutes of the frame to restore the lead.

A strong cross-ice pass from Jarome Iginla sprung Langkow down the left wing and he ripped a top-corner slapper over Giguere's trapper.

Before long, Chris Simon joined in the man-advantage fun to provide the insurance.

Simon, who snapped a 17-game goal drought the other night in San Jose, was parked in the high slot when he deflected a Ference point shot to all but salt away the clash.

A team that had only four goals in a three-game losing streak has potted seven in two games -- five while enjoying the man-advantage. The difference, said Lombardi, is a willingness to pay the price.

"We're going to the areas where we're going to score goals," he explained. "Obviously we're putting the puck on net but, at the same time, we're going to the net.

"On my goal, Marcus made a great play screening the goalie, he didn't see anything. And on Si's goal, Andy made a great play to throw it on net and we have a couple of screens and a tip.

"We'll score some different goals but most of them are going to come from grinding it out and putting pucks on net."

Kiprusoff, who'll indeed need the breather having started 18 of the last 19 games, turned in another solid performance between the pipes. Among his 31 saves, Kiprusoff was especially strong late in the second period and early in the third while the Ducks were pushing for the comeback. Giguere stopped 21 shots for the Ducks (25-19-11), who remain four points of a playoff spot.


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