The Anaheim Ducks took a giant step toward securing a playoff spot while dealing the fading Calgary Flames a crushing blow.
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Ray Emery made 23 saves to remain perfect with Anaheim, Corey Perry scored twice and added an assist and the Ducks moved into sixth place in the Western Conference, beating the Flames 4-2 on Wednesday night.
Emery, signed in early February after recovering from a hip injury that required surgery last April, improved to 6-0-0 for the surging Ducks, winners of seven of their last eight games.
”I’m fortunate. I know that a lot of things had to go right for me to even get a chance to play,” Emery said. ”I’m grateful of every opportunity I get and I just take it as it comes, one step, one game at a time.”
Anaheim jumped from seventh to sixth place, six points ahead of ninth-place Calgary and Dallas. Calgary remained three points behind Chicago for the final playoff spot.
”Obviously, a disappointing loss,” Flames coach Brent Sutter said. ”We’re not quitting. We have four games to go here and you never know what can happen, but obviously losing tonight, our odds diminish.”
Perry scored his 45th and 46th goals to break a tie with Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos for the NHL lead.
”That was huge. They’ve only got a handful games left and it puts us up,” Perry said. ”We’re putting teams behind us now and we’re pushing forward, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Bobby Ryan and Lubomir Visnovsky also scored for Anaheim.
Jarome Iginla and Mark Giordano both scored for Calgary, who’ve now lost seven of their last nine.
Iginla opened the scoring at 2:58 of the first period with his 37th of the season, but Ryan tied it on a power play at 8:05 and Perry put the Ducks ahead with 4:20 left on another power play.
Calgary’s Matt Stajan had an apparent goal disallowed late in the second after Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf managed to pull the puck out the net without detection by the referees or replay officials.
”I am telling you it was in, that’s all I can say,” Stajan said. ”It’s too bad they got it wrong, but I guess video didn’t show it conclusively and the referee didn’t see it that way. It’s definitely a big turning point in that game because its an eight-minute wait and momentum changed and they got one at the end of the period.”
Sutter said he thought he saw the puck go in, but it was hard to say for sure.
”I’m looking at the screen just you guys are — does the puck look like it’s in? Does it or does it not?” Sutter said. ”The unfortunate part with that whole sequence was the call on the ice was no goal, so Toronto (where the goals are reviewed) has to change the ref’s minds for what they can see on video, and obviously they couldn’t see anything different.”
Visnovsky then made it 3-1 with 1:09 left in the period.
”That was a big goal at the end of the period for sure, no question about that,” Perry said. ”Going up two goals going into the third was huge.”
Giordano countered for Calgary with a slap shot with a two-man advantage 32 seconds into the third, but the Ducks held off the Flames and Perry completed the scoring with an empty-net goal.
NOTES: Miikka Kiprusoff made 18 saves for the Flames. He’s given up 10 first-period goals in his last five starts. … The Ducks used four goalies — Curtis McElhinney, Jonas Hiller, Dan Ellis and Emery — in sweeping the four-game season series for the first time. … The Flames signed Finnish goalie Joni Ortio. A sixth-round pick, he’s been playing with TPS in the Finnish elite league. He’ll join Abbotsford in the AHL.