USATSI_8560273_154158418_lowresThey fought valiantly, but the Calgary Flames couldn’t hold out against the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks took Sunday night’s game in overtime, finishing the Flames by a final score of 3-2 and ending the series four games to one. Corey Perry had the overtime winner, his seventh goal of the playoffs.

This is the first time the Ducks will appear in the Western Conference Final in eight seasons. They’ll face off against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Ducks came to win and were just too much for Calgary. With tremendous performances by the likes of Matt Beleskey, who had five goals in the five game series, and Perry, Anaheim was able to get the job done against a spirited and gutsy opponent. Sunday marked the second consecutive time in the series that the Ducks fell behind 2-1 and were able to get the win.

On Sunday night, they were the better team in many areas. They went two for four on the power play and outshot the Flames 47 to 19. They also conquered the faceoff circle, winning 43 to Calgary’s 26. The Ducks had the slight edge in hits with 33 to the Flames’ 31.

Calgary certainly dug in and played in the trenches, coming up with 27 blocked shots. Goalie Karri Ramo was a house of fire, facing a ton of shots and coming up with some spectacular saves.

The Flames have a lot to be proud of. They saw the emergence of many gifted players, including Johnny Gaudreau. The 21-year-old had nine points in 11 games, including two power play goals. Swan River’s Michael Ferland also had a good series, finishing with five points in nine games despite having 23 penalty minutes.

For all the valour showed by the Flames, the Ducks came out looking like the better team and closed out the series in the same way. The first few games were hard to watch for Calgary fans and it took a while for the Flames to find a foothold. Game Three heroics by Gaudreau seemed to turn the tide, but it was not to be.

The Ducks’ ability to roll four lines and get scoring from all corners of the roster can be credited for their success. They’ll be in tough against the Blackhawks, but they should be able to handle it if they can bring their physical game and get scoring early. We’ll have more on that matchup in the next few days.

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