max comtois and derek scholarship each had a goal and an assist as the Ducks teamed up to beat the calgary flames 3-1 on Friday night.
brett lea also scored and john gibson he stopped 36 shots to help the Ducks win for the fifth time in eight games (5-1-2).
“We know this time of year there are a lot of teams trying to make the move and we’re going to be up against some good competition,” said Gibson, who is 4-1-2 in his last seven games. “Whether it’s teams in the playoffs, teams out of the playoffs, or teams fighting for a playoff spot, we know it’s all going to be competitive.”
Mikael Backlund scored for Calgary and Jacob Markstrom finished with 15 saves. The Flames snapped a two-game winning streak and lost for the sixth time in eight games (2-4-2).
Calgary remained four points behind Winnipeg for the second wild card in the Western Conference.
“We have to understand that we are fighting for our lives, and everyone in the room has to find a way to step up,” Flames defenseman MacKenzie Weegar said.
After a scoreless first period, the Flames took a 1–0 lead at 6:43 of the second on a power play when Elias Lindholm’s shot slipped past Backlund up front. It was Backlund’s fifteenth goal of the season.
It was also Calgary’s first power play goal in six games after going 0-for-12 in the previous five games.
The lead was short-lived as the Ducks responded 1:04 later with a deflection of their own. Frank Vatrano fired a rising shot into the net that veered from Comtois and fooled Markstrom. It was Comtois’s seventh and ended Markstrom’s shutout streak at 98:35.
Leason then put the Ducks ahead with 8:27 remaining in the half when he hit a loose puck from the side of the net for his fifth.
The Flames peppered Gibson with 13 shots in the third as they pushed for the tying goal. However, he was perfect, with his best save with less than seven minutes left when he hooked a shot close to the post from Tyler Toffoli after the Flames’ top scorer was slotted into the slot by Jakob Pelletier.
“He’s probably one of the top five or three goalies in the league,” Comtois said of Gibson. “He always comes up with those big saves and he keeps us on it. Even when we’re playing really good teams and teams like today that are fighting for their lives in a playoff spot, they throw everything at him and he just makes the saves.”
In a flurry early in the period, Gibson kicked off his left pad to make successive saves from near Jonathan Huberdeau and then Nazem Kadri.
“Incredible leader,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “He has fire in him to compete. This year, obviously being under reconstruction, it’s not easy for a guy like that. I think he’s handled the mentality of him extremely well.”
John Gibson makes history
Gibson’s 13 first-quarter saves moved him past Guy Hebert (11,813) and into first place on the Ducks’ all-time list. Gibson has been busy this season, leading the NHL in saves with 1,516.
Next up for the ducks: They host Nashville on Sunday night in the first game of an eight-game home stand.
Next for the flames: They host Ottawa on Sunday night in the finale of a two-game homestand.