Flames couldn’t hold on to three-goal lead in Game-3 loss to Ducks

Flames let late lead slip in loss to Ducks

CALGARY — The Calgary Flames picked an in opportune time to let a late lead slip.

Calgary, the NHL’s best team at protecting leads after two periods, blew a lead after 40 minutes for the first time in over six months, falling 5-4 to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday in Game 3 of their opening-round series. 

The Flames are now one loss away from elimination because of it.

“We’ve been so good throughout the season at protecting leads,” Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. “But tonight, for whatever reason, we couldn’t hold onto this one.”

Calgary was 33-0-1 when leading after two periods in the regular season, good for a .971 winning percentage. The Flames had one overtime loss on Oct. 15 before going 33 straight wins when faced with that scenario.

That streak came to a crashing and crushing halt before a raucous sellout crowd at the Saddledome.

Leading 4-1 late in the second period, momentum started to turn as Anaheim’s Shea Theodore scored with 49 seconds remaining in the second period.

Two more goals in the third tied it and Corey Perry’s bank shot off of Calgary defenceman Michael Stone 90 seconds into overtime turned a jubilant night into one of heartbreak for the Flames and their fans.

“We’ve got to find a way to hammer that one down for sure,” said captain Mark Giordano. “We got four goals, you’ve got to win the game. That’s the bottom line.”

Brian Elliott, who was shaky on a few of the goals, accepted his share of the blame. The five goals came on 27 shots, five fewer than what the Flames had directed on Anaheim’s net.

“It’s tough to swallow right now,” said Elliott, who had only given up five goals once in the previous five months. “I have to own that. It’s not an easy thing to do. The guys potted four goals and we should win a game like that.”

Sitting back on their heels, Calgary was outshot 12-8 in the final 20 minutes, enabling the game to slip away.

“It’s not the way we wanted to play the third period,” said Stone, whose first goal of the series made it 3-1 early in the second. “We let them back in the game and it came back to bite us.”

As fans quietly filed out of the Saddledome, it was just as silent in the Flame dressing room.

“It sucks,” said a quiet Sean Monahan, who scored his third goal in as many games. “It’s a 4-1 lead and you blow it and you go and lose in overtime.

The Flames talked post-game about regrouping and moving on. It’s going to be very difficult climb.

Winning four straight to take the series would mean having to win twice at Anaheim’s Honda Center, where they’ve lost 29 consecutive games.

The Flames have never come back to win a series in which they were down 2-0, let alone 3-0.

“It’s going to be difficult tonight, you expect that,” said Gulutzan. “We will get up in the morning and do our same routine to make sure we are ready for Game 4.”

Game 4 goes Wednesday in Calgary.

“Put this one behind us and move onto the next one,” said Stone. “One at a time.”

Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Outdoor cats one of the biggest causes of wildlife injuries, says Wild ARC

Spring a vulnerable time for fledlings, small mammals

Royals face Blazers to kickoff WHL playoffs

Series opens Friday, March 22 at Victoria’s Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

Victoria street repatriated with proper spelling after a century-long mistake

‘Penwill Street’ was named after a Victoria man, but mistakenly spelled ‘Penwell Street’

Royal Theatre rate hikes on hold for now; user groups remain unhappy

Symphony, Pacific Opera, Dance Victoria call for public consultation on future use of Royal

Spring equinox welcomed by final super moon of 2019

Spring has sprung and did you catch that moon

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Bodies of two missing teens recovered in reservoir along Kootenay river

Volkswagen Beetle drove off the road down a steep embankment and into the Pend d’Oreille River Sunday

Extensive training makes Island man powerlifter a national champ

Age no barrier to bouncing back from nagging back injuries in the past

40 records broken across B.C. as hot streak continues

Abbotsford hottest spot in Canada on Tuesday

B.C. wildfire prevention budget bulked up as dry spring unfolds

Night vision goggles tested for early detection effort

Vancouver driver ticketed twice within 6 minutes for same offence

The man was written up by two different officers for using an electronic device

B.C. teacher reprimanded after incident with Grade 11 student in school gym

Gregory Norman Brock was teaching at a high school in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District

Most Read