Calgary Flames vs Anaheim Ducks: Mike Smith in net, guess the outcome

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Mike Smith #41 and Mark Giordano #5 of the Calgary Flames push Adam Henrique #14 of the Anaheim Ducks during the first period of a game at Honda Center on November 7, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Mike Smith #41 and Mark Giordano #5 of the Calgary Flames push Adam Henrique #14 of the Anaheim Ducks during the first period of a game at Honda Center on November 7, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Calgary Flames headed to the dreadful Honda Center to start a three-game California road-trip. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find that third-period magic tonight.

I hate the Honda Center. Since breaking the curse last season in October, the Calgary Flames have yet to win another game there. And tonight was no different.

In a game against the Anaheim Ducks, a team who has not won in regulation since October 17th, the Flames outplayed them. Especially in the second and third periods. But with Mike Smith, we all knew what that meant. It’s becoming a little too predictable at this point.

The good news for the Flames is that they played a great game and were coming off a four-game win streak and five-game point streak since that 9-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. I mean, it’s alright to lose one. But all I’m saying is that they may have had a better chance with literally anybody else except for Smith in net.

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Let’s check out how the Flames got here tonight.

First period

The game started out quite even for both sides. At one point, Rasmus Andersson slipped at the blue line and the Ducks had a chance the other way, but Juuso Valimaki came back to make a great defensive play and take away their scoring opportunity.

The Calgary Flames then took an early penalty and needed to kill it off. Off the bat, Elias Lindholm had a great shorthanded breakaway and tried going five-hole on Ryan Miller, but Miller found it. The Ducks had one shot on the powerplay but no chance was as good as Lindholm’s and this PP for the Ducks went scoreless.

As the powerplay expired, the Flames had a good chance with a shot by Sean Monahan, but it was also stopped by Miller.

A couple minutes later, Jakob Silfverberg made it 1-0 Ducks by going five-hole on Mike Smith. This was the first time the Ducks have scored the first goal in eight games. It seemed like after that goal, the Ducks seemed more energized and kept up the momentum. A few minutes later after that initial goal, the Ducks had another chance. Josh Manson shot it on net and a big rebound went to Adam Henrique who got it past Smith. 2-0 Ducks.

Later in the period, the Flames went on the powerplay and it was quite a quick goal. Right off the faceoff, Monahan got it back to Mark Giordano who passed it over to Lindholm who shot it on net and, with a great tip-in by Matthew Tkachuk, they cut the lead to one. That’s also now five PP goals for the Flames in their last six games.

This period finished 2-1 for the Ducks with them outshooting the Flames 11-9. The score was quite evenly played at even-strength otherwise.

Second period

The second period started with a good shift by the Calgary Flames but it was still a one-goal game. It was a bit of a back and forth game for the next few minutes and Austin Czarnik, who drew into the game for the first time since October 27th, had a good shot on Miller. Moments later, the Ducks got a good chance of their own and Smith was forced to make a good save.

A few minutes later, James Neal had a great read in the defensive zone that caused a turnover by the Ducks and led to about four good scoring chances by the Flames. All that sustained pressure led to a powerplay for the Flames.

On the PP, the Flames’ second unit had a great chance from Czarnik to Mikael Backlund but his puck went between the crease and Backlund slammed his stick on the ice in frustration. There was some intense end-to-end action for the next few minutes with another great scoring chance for Czarnik, but he somewhat fanned on the shot and the Ducks got a two-on-one breakaway which was also blocked. At the end of that action, Mark Jankowski had a great shot on Miller who made a great save on him.

Moments later, Neal and Johnny Gaudreau had a great chance with a pass from Neal to Gaudreau, but he hit the post because that’s the way Neal’s season has been going.

This period ended scoreless for either team and the Flames outshooting the Ducks 13-10 but they absolutely dominated at even-strength. Let’s head to the final frame.

Third period

Silfverberg had a great shot early in the period and Smith got his right pad out to make the timely save.

About four minutes into the period, the Calgary Flames still hadn’t scored a goal yet and I was starting to lose hope for the comeback (that’s mainly a joke). The Flames then took a penalty and the Ducks were barely able to even set up which led to a two-on-one for the Flames. Jankowski had the puck and instead of passing, decided to shoot it past Miller to score a shorthanded goal and tie the game up for his first of the year.

But don’t get too excited because just 27 seconds later, Ryan Getzlaf made it 3-2 just as their powerplay expired. For the next few minutes, the Flames applied a great amount of pressure and were outshooting the Ducks 11-3 just slightly past the midway mark but couldn’t find the back of the net.

The Flames continued to apply tons of pressure and didn’t even let the Ducks get a shot on goal for about 15 minutes. With about two and a half minutes left, the Flames took Smith out for the extra attacker and shortly after went on the powerplay, so they were on a 6on4 powerplay for over a minute.

But unfortunately, they couldn’t find that third-period magic they’ve had over the last few games and fell short 3-2 to the Ducks, who won their first game in regulation since October 17th.

To nobody's surprise, Mike Smith is terrible again. dark. Next

The Flames outshot the Ducks 39-24 which was somewhat expected of the Flames to lose this game if they outplayed the Ducks like that with Mike Smith in net. Sorry, Mike Smith… but also not sorry.