Flames continue string of futility in Anaheim

Forrest Lee, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Some things never change.
For the Calgary Flames, they haven't been able to buy a thrill at the Honda Center in almost 10 years. Friday wasn't any different.
Left winger Dustin Penner scored twice as the Anaheim Ducks continued their dominance of the Flames in a 5-2 victory before a sellout crowd of 17,174.
The Ducks (18-7-3) won their 18th in a row at home against the Flames (8-13-4), who have not won in Anaheim since January 2004.
"We didn't really talk about that," said center Ryan Getzlaf, who had two assists in the win, giving him a club-high 30 points. "We were in a position to where we needed to rebound from a (loss). We were talking about us the last couple of days and getting ready for this one tonight. They're a good hockey team. They come out and skate hard. We just had to get back to our game at home."
Anaheim, which suffered a 6-3 setback in Dallas to the Stars on Tuesday, also improved to 10-0-1 on home ice, where they remain the only NHL club to avoid losing a game in regulation. And, the Ducks didn't commit a penalty against the Flames, who finished with four.
"Every line was going and every line was creating chances," said Penner, who has five goals in the last three games. "We established more on our end defensively. It's an improvement from the last game."
Goaltender Frederik Andersen, in his first start since being recalled from Anaheim's AHL club in Norfolk, Va., improved to 7-1 by stopping 19 shots in the win. Calgary netminder Reto Berra made 33 saves.
"I didn't know we had such a tough go here, but they are a good team. You have to give them credit," said Calgary right winger David Jones, who scored a goal in the defeat.
Center Andrew Cogliano and right winger Corey Perry each scored a goal and produced an assist.
"We wanted to get some confidence to take into the next week. We've got some pretty stiff competition," Penner said.
The Ducks visit the San Jose Sharks on Saturday in a clash of Pacific Division leaders. They also host the rival Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday before a road trip to the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. Anaheim follows up that matchup with a contest Friday at the St. Louis Blues.
"You always look forward to playing the upper echelon of competition," Penner said. "Obviously, San Jose, Chicago (and) L.A. are the top tier teams we look forward to testing ourselves against."
They tuned up against the Flames by grabbing an early lead and keeping Calgary at arms' length. Anaheim scored two goals within a 46-second span in the first period to take a lead it would never relinquish. Defenseman Sami Vatanen, on an assist from Cogliano, ripped a winner from behind the circle for a 1-0 Ducks lead at 12:20.
Perry struck for his team-high 14th goal by redirecting defenseman Ben Lovejoy's blast past Berra for a 2-0 advantage at 13:14.
The Ducks made it 3-0 at 3:52 of the second period when Getzlaf faked a shot, then dropped a soft pass to Penner, who converted from just outside the crease for a power play goal. For Getzlaf, it extended his string of games with at least a point to nine.
Calgary got on the board at 5:51 of the second period when Andersen couldn't handle a shot by defenseman Ladislav Smid. The puck bounced off Andersen and trickled into the net before the goalie could get his glove on it, cutting Anaheim's lead to 3-1.
Center Daniel Winnik found Cogliano rushing down the ice, allowing the center to score for a 4-1 Anaheim lead at 8:21 of the second period.
Jones slapped a wrist shot by Andersen on an unassisted goal at 12:17 of the second period to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Penner scored with 8:34 left in the game on assist from Getzlaf and Perry to cap the scoring.
NOTES: Anaheim recalled D Alex Grant from its AHL Norfolk affiliate on Friday. ... Ducks C Saku Koivu, who returned to the lineup after missing 14 games with a concussion, made an impact almost immediately with two assists in the opening two periods. ... Ducks D Nolan Yonkman scored his first NHL point by assisting on RW Corey Perry's goal in the first period. ... This was the second of four meetings -- Anaheim took a 3-2 decision Oct. 16 -- between the two clubs. They won't play again until March 12 and March 26 at the Scotiabank Saddledome. ... The Flames cap their two-game road trip Saturday in Los Angeles against the Kings.

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