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Calgary Flames edge Anaheim Ducks 5-4 to stay in the NHL playoff hunt

CALGARY — Michael Stone scored the winner for the Calgary Flames with just under three minutes left to play in a 5-4 win over the visiting Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.

The defenceman, playing his first game for the Flames since Feb. 18 because of a lower-back injury, let loose a slap shot from the point that beat Lukas Dostal at 17:22 of the third period.

Andrew Mangiapane, Nikita Zadorov, Nick Ritchie and Milan Lucic also scored for Calgary (37-26-15), which remained two points back of the Winnipeg Jets holding down the final wild-card spot in the NHL’s Western Conference.

The Jets beat the New Jersey Devils 6-1 on Sunday.

Calgary’s Tyler Toffoli had two assists. After stopping seven of nine shots in the first period, Jacob Markstrom was replaced by Dan Vladar, who earned the win with 11 saves. 

Calgary won a fourth game in a row for the first time this season. 

The Flames also won back-to-back when trailing after two periods following Friday’s 5-4 overtime win in Vancouver.

Frank Vatrano score twice and had an assist for Anaheim (23-43-10). 

Max Comtois had a goal and an assist and Scott Harrington also scored for the Ducks playing their second game in as many days after falling 6-0 to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

Kevin Shattenkirk assisted on two goals for the Ducks. Starting goalie Lukas Dostal made 36 saves in the loss after stopping eight of eight mopping up in Edmonton the previous night.

Trailing 2-0 after the opening period, Calgary scored three unanswered goals, but Anaheim countered with a pair to re-take the lead heading into the third.

Lucic drew the Flames even again at 6:26 of the third. After defenceman MacKenzie Weegar blocked a shot in the defensive zone, Blake Coleman fed Lucic to score far side off the rush. 

Vladar didn’t see Harrington’s point shot through traffic at 12: 56 of the second.

Both Vatrano goals were scored off a rebound. He chipped a forehand over Vladar’s glove at 9:16 of the second period for his second of the game.

Ritchie tipped Troy Stecher’s shot from the point by Dostal for a 3-2 Flames lead at 8:18, and just over a minute after Zadorov drew the hosts even.

Jonathan Huberdeau from the boards fed the Russian, who rifled the puck far side over Dostal’s glove. 

Mangiapane halved the deficit for Calgary with a power-play goal 33 seconds into the second period. With Colton White serving a hooking penalty, Mangiapane wired a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle over Dostal’s stick.

The visitors led 2-0 on Comtois’ goal in the final seconds of Anaheim’s first-period power play. He converted a rebound on a Vatrano attempt shovelling the puck between Markstrom’s pads.

Calgary’s opposition scored on its first shot of the game for the 10th time this season — the ninth time on Markstrom — when Vatrano’s rising shot beat Markstrom’s glove at 4:17. 

Markstrom stopped Max Jones on a breakaway with eight minutes remaining in the opening period.


Calgary went 8-5-2 in March. … The Flames took the season series over the Ducks 3-1-0. … Flames defenceman Chris Tanev sat out a sixth straight game with an upper-body injury. … D Michael Stone played his first game for Calgary since Feb. 18.


The Flames are at home Tuesday to the Chicago Blackhawks and on the road Wednesday against the Winnipeg Jets.

After a 6-0 blanking in Edmonton on Saturday, the Ducks are at home to the Oilers on Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 2, 2023.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press