Costly mistakes haunt Flames in Game 1 loss to Ducks


The Calgary Flames still can’t win in Anaheim. They’ll need to change that in the coming days if they are to eliminate the Ducks in the first round.

The Flames did themselves no favors in a 3-2 loss in Game 1.

— They had a 2-1 lead midway through the second period, but coughed that up after a bad line change leading to a two-on-oh Anaheim rush and a Rickard Rakell rebound goal after Brian Elliott made the first save.

— The Flames couldn’t stay out of the penalty box and that was perhaps their biggest issue. The Ducks finished the game with seven power plays, scoring on two of them. Dougie Hamilton put his team short-handed in the third period, retaliating against Ryan Getzlaf for his hard but clean hit on Mark Giordano. That specific penalty didn’t result in a Ducks goal, but it did nothing productive for any comeback attempt.

— They couldn’t convert on a 1:14 two-man advantage in the final minutes of the third period, as they searched for the tying goal. And that was with Ryan Kesler, who leads all Anaheim forwards in penalty killing time per game, in the penalty box.

Ducks goalie John Gibson wasn’t as busy as Elliott at the other end, but he made a huge stop on Johnny Gaudreau — and managed to keep the puck out on the ensuing scramble — late in the game to preserve the win.

The Flames’ losing streak in Anaheim continues.