SUN Hockey Pool

Flames fall short in Anaheim

Ducks winger Emerson Etem is taken into the boards by Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman on Wednesday...

Ducks winger Emerson Etem is taken into the boards by Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman on Wednesday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:15 AM ET

ANAHEIM — To a man, the Calgary Flames bristle when somebody mentions their losing skid in Anaheim.

Talk of the franchise’s last victory at the Honda Center coming Jan. 19, 2004, is deemed as ancient history or irrelevant.

If the Flames want to stop the chatter every time they head to this part of Southern California, there’s an obvious solution: Win.

Sure, easier said than done, but the Flames once again went to the house that Mickey Mouse built and once again left on the losing side in Wednesday’s 3-2 defeat to the Ducks.

For those needing the update, Calgary has now lost 17 consecutive regular-season games in Anaheim (0-11-6) and has an abysmal run of 27 games with only one victory, which dates back to late in the 1998-99 campaign.

To put those games in perspective, Calgary’s 2013 first-round draft choice Sean Monahan was nine years old the last time the Flames won a non-playoff game in Anaheim. (The player pegged to be a cornerstone of the future was four years old when the 27-game run began.)

One of the biggest reasons the building originally known as The Pond has been a house of horrors for the Flames for an eternity has been slow starts by the visitors.

The latest potential remake of Disappointment in Disneyland came with that age-old script.

Dustin Penner started the hosts off and running to the delight of the announced crowd of 14,051 just past the three-minute mark.

Ryan Getzlaf led an odd-man rush and, despite being steered into the side boards, managed a rocket of a cross-ice pass to Penner at the far side of the net, and the big winger made no mistake with the opportunity.

Kyle Palmieri doubled the lead later in the opening period by intercepting a soft Chris Butler clearing attempt, managing to barely remain onside, working to the slot and then — while using a Flames defenceman as a screen — wristing a shot past Joey MacDonald.

However, the Flames made a game of it just as things were on the verge of getting out of control.

With Tim Jackman assessed a major penalty and game-misconduct for butt-ending (can’t think of the last time that penalty has been called in a Flames game), Lee Stempniak put the Flames on the board with a shorthanded goal before the first intermission. Stempniak stripped Palmieri of the puck at the Calgary blueline and raced away for his second career shorthanded tally.

However, Teemu Selanne — who has stated this is the final season in his hall-of-fame career — restored Anaheim’s two-goal edge late in the second period.

Selanne, who broke his stick on Mark Giordano’s moments earlier, went to the bench for a new weapon, and that’s one reason he was sprung alone for the breakaway he converted for his first goal of the season, and 676th of his illustrious career.

To their credit, the Flames refused to go gently into the night and made it close again, another usual occurrence during all these losses in Anaheim.

Jiri Hudler’s 100th career goal extended his point-scoring streak to six games — yep, every game this season — by deflecting Kris Russell’s point shot in the early minutes past Ducks netminder Viktor Fasth.

That spurred the visitors even harder in their quest for the equalizer, but they couldn’t find it and suffered their first loss of the season to come in regulation time,

Fasth stopped 33 shots for the win, while MacDonald made 19 saves.

Calgary’s road swing continues Saturday against the San Jose Sharks, who have run roughshod over the opposition to start this season.


Videos

Photos