CALGARY, Canada -- Achieving redemption, conquering pressure and gaining two points on the teams above them, the Ducks took extra satisfaction from their 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.
Andrew Cogliano, who bluntly assessed the Ducks' 7-2 loss to the Flames at the Saddledome two weeks earlier as a teamwide “embarrassment,” scored the game-winning goal with 5 minutes 19 seconds left in the third period.
The Ducks (47-18-7) stared down not only a 2-1 deficit at the start of the third, but another round of relentless pressure from the young, rising Flames (30-36-7).
“To come back is big for us. We showed a lot of character,” Cogliano said after producing his 21st goal by rebounding defenseman Stephane Robidas' blast off Calgary goalie Karri Ramo.
“We needed to play better, obviously, got killed last time. To get a comeback win in this building is a huge win.”
With Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau calmly preaching before the final period that all it took was one goal, Ducks center Mathieu Perreault scored it by blasting in a shot Ramo couldn't gather, from Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen.
“Fought hard in the third, a couple bounces went our way,” Perreault said.
The victory pulls the Ducks to within two points of Pacific Division leader San Jose with Anaheim having two more games than the Sharks remaining. Western Conference leader St. Louis is four points ahead.
“Coming down the stretch, we're playing teams already out of the playoffs. We have to take advantage of those games,” Perreault said.
Victory was clinched by Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, who gave up three goals on five shots before being replaced in the March 12 blowout but returned Wednesday to blank the Flames on 23 combined shots in the first and third periods, shining especially in the frantic final minutes.
“The whole team was upset last time, but you get a chance to do better and I was happy with the way we responded,” Hiller said. “It's important for our guys' confidence. You need those kind of games, you can build on that for next game. Everyone worked hard, we got the two points.”
Calgary rallied from a first-period deficit 4:44 into the second when forward Brian McGrattan used his right knee to knock in a Tyler Wotherspoon shot deflected by Kevin Westgarth, beat-
ing a befuddled Hiller to his left.
The Ducks outshot the Flames 16-11 in the second but labored to find a way past Ramo, who stuffed a Rickard Rakell shot set up by a pristine Corey Perry pass.
The Flames then went ahead with 25 seconds left in the period when center Jiri Hudler capped more pressure on Hiller by blasting a shot that beat the goalie on his left.
The Ducks led 1-0 after the first period on Nick Bonino's power-play goal with 1:03 remaining.
After a three-for-47 skid on the power play dragged on over 14 games, the Ducks have now scored on the power play in three consecutive games.
“Two points back, two games in hand. It's a good start to the week,” Boudreau said.