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Jonas Hiller stands tall as Flames rally to 4-3 shootout win over Ducks

11/19/2014 12:28 EST | Updated 01/18/2015 05:59 EST
CALGARY - Things didn't look too good for Jonas Hiller playing against his old team for the first time.

Down 2-0 at the second intermission, the Calgary Flames mounted a furious comeback in the third period on their way to a wild 4-3 shootout victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

"It feels great to get the win," said Hiller, who made 24 saves in regulation and overtime before allowing just one goal in the shootout, while the Flames scored twice. "Especially after being down after two periods and not playing our best game and finding a way to step it up. I think it shows a lot of character on this team."

After Sean Monahan scored in the third-round of the shootout, Hiller stood his ground to force Corey Perry to shoot wide of the net to preserve the victory for Calgary (12-6-2).

"I think everyone in here is believing that we can turn games around," said Hiller, who signed as a free agent with the Flames on July 1 after seven seasons with the Ducks. "A lot of times, third periods have been our best periods."

That was the case on Tuesday as the Ducks (11-4-5) led 2-0 after two periods, while holding the Flames to just seven shots on net.

"I don't know how you can be so great and so bad all in the same game," lamented Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau after the loss. "We beat ourselves. There's no doubt in my mind. I think it was evident that after two periods, we had total control of the game and then we do stupid stuff in the third period and get lazy. It doesn't take much to get the crowd back into it and the next thing you know it's 3-2."

Dennis Wideman had a pair of goals for the Flames, who have come back to win four games when trailing after two periods this season. They accomplished that same feat just four times all last season.

"We've done a good job this year so far of sticking to our game and when we haven't had the first and second period that we'd like … we've found a way to find our legs in the third," said Wideman, who's now tied for the NHL lead in goals by a defenceman at seven with Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks. "It's early in the year for a statement game, but it's a big win for us because it gives the young guys the confidence to know they can go up against the best and we can win games."

Jiri Hudler also scored for Calgary, while Markus Granlund had two assists.

Sami Vatanen had a goal and two assists for the Ducks, who also lost 6-2 at home to the Florida Panthers two nights earlier.

"We made some mental mistakes that cost us the game tonight," said Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf. "We should have been out of that game and on our way."

Matt Beleskey and Kyle Palmieri also scored for the Ducks, while goalie Frederik Andersen made 16 saves in a losing cause.

Anaheim opened the scoring at 15:54 of the first when Vatanen snapped a shot from the point that deflected off Calgary defenceman Raphael Diaz's stick and through Hiller's legs.

During an early man advantage for the Ducks in the second, Hiller made a nice glove save on a shot from the slot by Getzlaf before also making a pad save to deny Palmieri.

Beleskey put the Ducks up 2-0 at 12:29 of the second with a power-play goal when he tipped a point shot by Hampus Lindholm past Hiller.

Hudler pulled the Flames within a goal at 3:25 of the third when he deposited a shot from the slot into the net behind Andersen, who was out of position.

Wideman then blasted a pair of slap shots — at 9:03 of the third and again at 13:43 — past Andersen to put the Flames up 3-2.

Palmieri scored another power-play goal for the Ducks at 15:05 of the third. Hiller made the initial save, but the puck bounced up and over him and across the goal line to send the game to overtime.

"I just took it to the net," said Palmieri, whose tying goal helped him atone for taking two penalties early in the third. I saw it in slow motion. It just kind of popped up and over Hillsy's shoulder. I was lucky enough for it to pop back into the net."

The Flames had a great chance to win the game in overtime when Ryan Kesler was penalized for cross-checking Calgary defenceman T.J. Brodie.

Wideman nearly completed his hat trick on the ensuing power play, but Andersen stuck out his right pad to turn aside the point shot.

Notes: The Flames honoured Hall of Fame broadcaster Peter Maher with a pre-game ceremony. Maher was the radio voice of the Flames from 1981-82 until his retirement at the end of the 2013-14 season. In total, Maher called 2,954 Flames games. … In his seven seasons with Anaheim, Hiller compiled a record of 162-110-32 to go with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage while wearing a Ducks' uniform. … Heading into the game, Flames captain Mark Giordano had recorded at least a point in nine straight games to match a personal best which he set last season. Giordano had five goals and nine assists during that stretch before failing to record a point against the Ducks.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had the wrong score in the headline.

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