It was the first defeat of the Ducks (6-3-0) at home since the start of the campaign, which only makes Flames’ victory even more significant. And the guests would hardly win if there weren’t for Mikale Backlund and goalie Cam Talbot.
Backlund was the one who managed to score a game-winning goal for the Flames, after 4:56 into the last period. He and Matthew Tkachuk picked up a puck in the neutral zone as one of the Ducks’ players lost possession of it. It was a 2-on-1 chance, and there were no problems for Calgary’s duo.
After that, the hosts couldn’t bounce back, and one of the main reasons was Talbot, who had 29 saves last night. What was vital for Calgary is the fact that he prevented the Ducks from netting in that third period on 11 occasions.
All of his teammates were praising the performance from tonight, and coach Peters had to mention Talbot as the X-factor in this one.
“When they pushed, Talbot was there,” Calgary coach Bill Peters said. “The work he has had with us has been good. We have a lot of confidence in him, and as we get busier, you will see him more.”
This was the goalie’s first appearance in the starting lineup for the Flames after he signed as a free agent this summer.
Following the first period in which there weren’t any scores, Anaheim managed to shock the visitors just 12 seconds after the start of the second sequence. Jakob Silfverberg netted, with a one-timer which followed Hampus Lindholm’s backhand pass.
But with 4:48 left in this part of the match, Michael Stone levelled the score, with a one-timer from above the slot. For Stone, this was the third game this season; the first one after four missed due to health problems.
“It felt good to contribute; it’s been a while since I’ve done that,” Stone said. “To get in there and get rewarded was nice.”
Eventually, Backlund’s score and Talbot’s superb effort secured two points for Calgary and inflicted the hosts an unexpected loss. Anaheim’s coach Dallas Eakins also stated that Flames’ goalie solved this match, with numerous saves he had.
“I thought we had numerous chances to not only tie it but go-ahead by a couple, and we just couldn’t get it in the net,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said.
There was one very nice milestone for Milan Lucic in this game. He played his 900th career game. If everything goes well, the next two will be against the Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers on Tuesday and Thursday, both at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. Meanwhile, the Ducks have a four-game road trip that starts this Tuesday in Nashville against the Predators. Following that, they face the Stars, Avalanches, and eventually the Golden Knights.