Niklas Hagman wasn’t exactly sure where he fit in the long-and-winding-and-head-spinning shootout between the Ducks and Calgary Flames.
“I can’t even … I was the sixth, seventh, eighth shooter? I don’t even know,” he said.
Informed that he was the eighth, Hagman shook his head in mild amusement. Or maybe it was bemusement? Eight was enough as Hagman scored the winner in the shootout against his former teammates, giving the Ducks a 3-2 win on Monday night at the Honda Center.
The Ducks might be floundering, losing to the Columbus Blue Jackets the other day and having looked directionless in November and December.
But at least the Ducks had one thing going for them at home.
They can still beat the Flames.
On Monday, that vestige of pride survived the tense shootout. Calgary had not won in Anaheim since Jan. 19, 2004, a 14-game losing streak, making the Honda Center a haunted house for them. And Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff stays at No. 299 in career victories, thwarted by a fellow Finn and teammate this season, until the Flames put him on waivers and the Ducks claimed him.
“It’s obviously a huge win for us. It’s a goalie I’ve practiced a lot against,” Hagman said. “Quite a bit. I don’t have that many moves. He knows my go-to moves.
“I tried to switch it up a little bit. I wanted to come with good speed and I wanted to shoot it. Luckily, for me, he probably thought I’m going to go with my backhand.”
There was still some suspense even after Hagman’s shootout goal. The Flames could have pushed it into a ninth round but goalie Jonas Hiller stopped Mikael Backland’s effort.
“We really needed those two points. We really wanted it,” said Hiller, who faced 26 shots and stopped six of the eight attempts in the shootout.
“It wasn’t an easy game. Both teams played really hard. It was about time we finally win a shootout. I felt pretty good out there. I felt I got the speed figured out pretty quick and pretty good.”
The Ducks grabbed the two points after having blown a 2-0 lead. Scoring for them in regulation, both goals coming in the first period, were Bobby Ryan, at 15 minutes 52 seconds and Matt Beleskey at 17:51.
Calgary’s goals came from Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla.
Iginla’s third-period goal, coming on the power play, was his 20th this season, and it marks the 14th season he has hit, or bettered, the 20-goal plateau.
The Flames went on the power play when defenseman Luca Sbisa received a five-minute major and automatic game misconduct for an illegal hit to the head of Tim Jackman.
The run against the Flames is the Ducks’ longest winning streak against one opponent at home in franchise history.
Calgary’s last win in Anaheim had been such a long time ago that the only player who appeared in that game happened to be Ducks’ defenseman Toni Lydman, who was playing for the Flames, and incidentally, scored and had an assist.