Calgary Flames

After hook versus Canucks, Hartley says ‘no question’ Hiller starts against Ducks

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Calgary goalie Jonas Hiller said he wants “nothing more” than to show his former team “made a mistake” in getting rid of him.

And now, the Flames will oblige.

On Monday, head coach Bob Hartley confirmed that Hiller would be the Game 1 starter when the Flames open their second round series against Anaheim — the team that Hiller spent the first seven years of his NHL career with, before being allowed to walk last summer in free agency.

The questions about Hiller’s starting status came after Calgary’s series-clinching win over Vancouver in Game 6. The Swiss ‘tender was hooked after allowing two goals on three shots in the first eight minutes of action, and Karri Ramo played very well in relief, stopping 17 of 19 shots.

(Hartley later said he apologized to Hiller for the hook in front of the entire Flames team.)

Game 6 wasn’t Ramo’s only action of the series. The Finn also got a brief appearance in a Game 2 loss in Vancouver, making a pair of stops in just under five minutes of action.

The Flames employed a goalie timeshare this season, with Hiller starting 44 games to Ramo’s 32 (Joni Ortio got six.) That’s another reason why Hartley was asked about his starter for the Anaheim series; while he made a pretty definitive statement that Hiller is the No. 1, he also acknowledged he’s more than willing to turn to Ramo if need be.

“I’m very conformable with both goalies,” he said.

Hiller wants ‘nothing more’ than to show Ducks ‘made a mistake’

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Here’s something you may not know — of all the active goalies with at least 10 playoff appearances, only three have a higher career postseason save percentage than Calgary’s Jonas Hiller (.932).

Hiller was mostly excellent in the Flames’ first-round victory over Vancouver, posting a .931 save percentage in six games (though he did get pulled in Game 6). Now he’s got his sights set on Anaheim, which happens to be the team that cut him loose after last season.

“At the end, you want nothing more than to beat that team and prove to them they made a mistake not re-signing you,” Hiller told the Globe and Mail. “It should be a fun series.

“I spent seven years there. I know so many people there. Sure, the team has changed since last year, but just to be in that building, which was home for me for so long, it’s definitely going to be special.”

Related: Calgary signs Hiller: two years, $9 million

PHT Morning Skate: Habs give Price the silent treatment

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Following Sunday night’s 2-0 win over the Ottawa Senators the Montreal Canadiens, led by Brandon Prust, decided to give goaltender Carey Price the silent treatment as he entered the team’s dressing room.

A Detroit-based company has found a new use for old hockey sticks. (The Hockey News)

With the Calgary Flames headed to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, rookie Sam Bennett will soon burn the first year of his entry-level contract. Wes Gilbertson writes on why the Flames aren’t worried about Bennett’s contract situation. (Calgary Sun)

Connor McDavid scored a highlight-reel shorthanded goal in Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. McDavid faked a shot freezing New York Rangers’ prospect Brandon Halverson before sliding the puck in with one hand. McDavd now has seven goals and two assists through the first three games of the series and his Erie Otters lead the best-of-seven 2-1.

Here’s a look inside the Minnesota Wild room following their 4-1 series-clinching win over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday:

One more time, with feeling: Flames stage yet another comeback, eliminate Vancouver

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The Calgary Flames made a name for themselves this season with their third-period comebacks.

So it was fitting, then, that they won their first playoff series in 11 years in that very fashion.

Calgary beat Vancouver 7-4 on Saturday in Game 6 of their opening-round matchup, winning the series four games to two. The dramatic, come-from-behind win came after the Flames erased the Canucks’ 3-0 first-period lead, then rallied again in the third, much to the delight of a delirious Saddledome crowd.

“What a comeback, look at this crowd,” Flames head coach Bob Hartley said afterward. “We’re a big team, 20 [players] on the bench, but this crowd is unbelievable and those guys are just amazing.”

The series was bookended by comebacks. Calgary also won Game 1 courtesy a third-period rally, scoring the deciding marker with 30 seconds left.

Tonight’s heroics happened a bit earlier than in Game 1, though not by much. Matt Stajan scored the game-winner with under five minutes left, snapping home a wrister above the shoulder of Ryan Miller:

Stajan’s goal came after Jiri Hudler evened the score at four early in the frame, capitalizing on the power play after an interference call on Canucks forward Brandon McMillan.

Prior to Calgary’s third-period magic, the game was a dramatic affair. Vancouver looked to be in cruise control in the first after scoring three goals in just over seven minutes, but the Flames quickly replied with three goals of their own, including two in under five minutes from Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau early in the second period.

Shortly after the Flames tied things up, Luca Sbisa scored his first goal of the playoffs to give Vancouver a 4-3 edge, which it’d carry into the third — paving the way for Stajan to become the man of the night.

“We’ve worked so hard all year,” Stajan said after the game. “To come back like we have all year, it feels so good. We deserve it. We never back down. We’ll enjoy this, but we don’t want to stop. We want to keep going now.”

“We just felt in our room that we were going to come back. We found a way. That’s what we’ve done all year.”

As mentioned above, the win moves Calgary into the second round for the first time since 2004 — the same year they made it all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, before losing to Tampa Bay. The Flames will now take on Anaheim in Round 2.

As for the Canucks, losing the series — and the way they lost — has to be viewed as a major disappointment. While the club did well to bounce-back from last year’s disastrous campaign and make the playoffs, Vancouver failed to win a game on the road, saw its second-ranked penalty kill surrender five power-play goals over the series and lacked the killer instinct to put Calgary away in Games 1 and 6.

“The first couple of games, I felt we could’ve taken both at home,” a dejected Henrik Sedin said afterward. “[But] they came home tied 1-1.”

Of course, the Flames would argue they’re just not the kind of team you just put away.

Comebacks are kind of their thing.

Notes…

Karri Ramo replaced Jonas Hiller in the first period and fared well, stopping 17 of 19 shots… Miller finished with 26 saves on 31 shots… The Flames potted a pair of empty-net goals, which inflated their stat totals a bit, but still got great production from Stajan, Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, David Jones, Michael Ferland (three points each) and Jiri Hudler, who finished with four…Jannik Hansen led all Canuck scorers with two points; Vancouver got points from 10 different skaters.

Comeback Kids: Flames score three straight goals of their own (Video)

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So much for that “commanding” lead.

After digging themselves a 3-0 deficit in Game 6 of their series against Vancouver, the Flames replied in dramatic fashion by ripping off three straight goals of their own.

The Canucks netted their markers in a seven-minute span in the first, and would’ve gone to the intermission holding that lead had Michael Ferland not netted his first of the series at the 17:02 mark.

Then, the kids took over.

First, it was 20-year-old Sean Monahan, who scored his second goal of the series on assists from Jiri Hudler and Dennis Wideman just 62 seconds into the middle frame.

Just over four minutes later, it was 21-year-old Johnny Gaudreau that scored, converting helpers from Hudler and T.J. Brodie to tie things at 3-3.

If our last two posts suggest this is a wild game… well, yeah. It’s a wild game. Just moments after Calgary drew even, Luca Sbisa scored to put Vancouver back in front.