Silfverberg’s go-ahead goal lifts Ducks past Flames, 3-1

Dec 29, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Anaheim Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg (33) celebrates his goal with teammates against the Calgary Flames during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Anaheim Ducks won 3-1. (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Jakob Silfverberg made the right call when he went to his backup plan.

Silfverberg scored the go-ahead goal 5:37 into the third period to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

On a 2-on-1 with Andrew Cogliano, Silfverberg hung onto the puck and whipped a 40-foot wrist shot over Chad Johnson’s shoulder. Silfverberg has scored in three straight games.

“I was thinking pass first but then their (defenseman) made a pretty good play and slid and I just had to get the shot off,” Silfverberg said. “I just tried to fire it quick and it happened to find a pretty good spot.”

The tally gave Silfverberg goals in three straight games. He has 11 on the season.

“Big win for us and hopefully this will bring some momentum coming into a tough game tomorrow against Vancouver. Hopefully we can keep building off this,” said Silfverberg, who played in his 300th NHL game.

Antoine Vermette and Rickard Rakell also scored to help Anaheim snap a three-game skid. Ryan Kesler had assists.

John Gibson made 31 stops for Anaheim, allowing only Mikael Backlund’s goal.

“I thought we got better as the game went along,” Gibson said. “They jumped on us a little bit in the first period but once we weathered that storm, we got our power play going and settled down from there and locked it down.”

After Dennis Wideman’s delay of game put the Flames down two men for 1:03, Calgary survived the 5-on-3 portion, but Rakell knocked a puck in from a scramble on the ensuing one-man advantage. It was the second power-play goal of the night for Anaheim, which entered the game with the NHL’s second-best power play.

Calgary had killed off 18 straight penalties over the previous four games before surrendering two on five opportunities to the Ducks. Anaheim’s penalty kill was a perfect 4 for 4 against a Flames unit that has been No. 1 in the NHL in December, entering the night 15 for 41.

“Special teams do have a huge impact on your success and your ability to have success,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “If you don’t have penalty killing, your chances of winning goes down dramatically. You can survive without a power play but you can’t survive without penalty killing and more so on the road.”

Before Anaheim surged in front, Calgary had two chances to re-take the lead.

Early in the third, Backlund hit the goal post on a Calgary power play. In the final seconds of the second while short-handed, Ryan Getzlaf’s turnover near the Calgary blue line resulted in a clear 2-on-0 with Sam Bennett and Alex Chiasson. But the pair made one pass too many and Bennett’s shot hit the side of the net.

“I’m frustrated,” Bennett said. “I’ve got to capitalize. You don’t get chances like that too often.”

The Ducks tied it at 1 at 6:16 of the second when the puck squirted out to the side and Vermette fired it in. Calgary challenged the goal, claiming goalie interference on Corey Perry, but the call stood after video review.

Backlund opened the scoring at 11:09 when he split the Ducks defense.

Notes: Defenseman Brandon Montour made his NHL debut for Anaheim. The 2014 second-round pick was recalled from San Diego of the AHL on Wednesday. He took the spot of Sami Vatanen (ill). … Also ill and missing his first game in his two seasons with Calgary was Dougie Hamilton. He was replaced by Tyler Wotherspoon. … Silfverberg played in his 300th NHL game.

UP NEXT

Ducks: At Vancouver on Friday night.

Flames: Host Arizona on Saturday night.