Rakell scores in 4th straight, Ducks beat Flames 2-1

    NHL -  
    Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler, right, celebrates scoring against the Calgary Flames with teammates on the bench during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Ducks put 41 shots on goal, and Rickard Rakell put them over the top in one of their best efforts of the season.

    Rakell scored in his fourth straight game and got his 12th of the season to help Anaheim beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 on Friday night.

    The Ducks have won three of four following a three-game skid and 26 of 27 at home against Calgary. John Gibson made 22 saves and Cam Fowler also scored for the Ducks.

    "We've been doing a good job lately of getting off to good starts, but then we seem to kind of take our foot off the gas and let teams back in the hockey game," Fowler said. "They made their push in the second, but we were able to stick with it and I thought it was one of our most complete games all year."

    Mike Smith stopped 39 shots and Micheal Ferland got his 15th goal, but Calgary lost its third straight.

    Fowler opened the scoring 3:48 into the game when he fired a backhander past an outstretched Smith. Anaheim surged that period with 20 shots on goal, holding the Flames to just five.

    "We weren't ready to complete in a hard game and that's a step our team needs to take," Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said.

    The Flames tied it 11:55 into the second period when Ferland buried a rebound off Matt Bartkowski's shot. Calgary outshot the Ducks 11-8 in that frame to get back into the game after the lackluster first.

    "I thought we won the second, that's for sure. It wasn't the start we were looking for by any means. I think we were tentative, nervous, I don't know what the word is for it but we weren't doing anything well in the first," Smith said. "I thought we responded well in the second, got a big goal there. It was a tight game."

    The Ducks re-established their game in the third when Rakell made it 2-1 with a power-play one-timer from Ryan Getzlaf 2:17 in.

    Anaheim had 13 shots on goal in the third to Calgary's seven.

    "We built throughout the game," Getzlaf said. "I thought the second period was a little bit of a lull for us, but to give them credit they came pretty hard in that second period at the start and we handled it and kept going and that's what we need to do."

    NOTES: Anaheim had at least 40 shots on goal for the sixth time this season. ... Flames F Jaromir Jagr played in his 1,732nd game, giving him sole possession of third place on the NHL's career list. ... Fowler's goal was his 50th of his NHL career. He's the third Anaheim defenseman to hit that mark, the other two being Scott Niedermayer and Francois Beauchemin. ... The Ducks sent F Dennis Rasmussen to their AHL affiliate in San Diego. ... Scratches for the Ducks were Korbinian Holzer, Derek Grant and Andy Welinski. ... Scratches for the Flames were Freddie Hamilton, Brett Kulak and Michael Frolik.


    Ducks: Anaheim ends its three-game homestand against Arizona on Sunday. The Ducks then will go on the road for five games.

    Flames: Calgary opens a three-game homestand Sunday against Chicago.


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