CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Darren McCarty showed the poise of a
player with 151 NHL playoff games on his resume.
"The best thing about the playoffs is a lot of the times,
different guys get to step up and share the limelight for a
night," McCarty said. "Your studs and your top guys are going to
usually get it as they deserve it most of the time. But it's nice
to chip in when you can."
McCarty is in his first season with the Flames after spending
his other 11 NHL seasons as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.
"I've been fortunate to be in the right spot at the right time
in my career," McCarty said. "You're not going to get too many,
but if you get the timely ones, that's what counts. Guys chip in
different ways on this team and I'm just happy to chip in."
Game 2 of the best-of-seven will be in Calgary on Sunday night.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Anaheim's No. 1 goalie, practiced in the
morning but missed the game with a lower-body injury. Bryzgalov was
solid in his place, finishing with 28 saves.
"Obviously it was a tough game for Giggy to stay out, but we
move on," said Anaheim forward Teemu Selanne, who had a team-high
five shots. "We didn't expect to win both here. We just have to
get ready for Sunday and do a couple things better and it's our
Tony Amonte scored in the second period for the Flames, and Jeff
Friesen got Anaheim even in the third with a strange goal at 5:17.
"Its a big win and it feels good, but we know we need to get
better and we know it's going to get tougher," Flames captain
Jarome Iginla said.
Breaking down the wing, Rob Niedermayer's attempted pass
deflected off the stick of Calgary defenseman Roman Hamrlik and
sailed toward the Flames net. Friesen batted it out of the air and
knocked it past Miikka Kiprusoff.
It was only Friesen's second goal in 18 games for the Mighty
Ducks since being acquired from Washington at the trade deadline.
Opening the playoffs at home for the first time since 1995,
Calgary took the ice to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd.
Bryzgalov had started only one of the Ducks' final 14
regular-season games, but he didn't look rusty.
Calgary ran up a 7-0 advantage on the shot clock in the game's
first 10 minutes, but the 25-year-old Russian Olympian was equal to
the task. One of Bryzgalov's best stops came early when he jabbed
out a pad to thwart Byron Ritchie from the top of the crease after
the Flames center was set up by Chris Simon.
"All the games he played in the regular season, he did his job
well," Selanne said. "We have lots of confidence in him, too, and
that's a good sign."
The Flames took a 1-0 lead at 6:17 of the second period.
Deep in his own end, Selanne attempted to fire the puck around
the end boards but the clearing attempt was intercepted by Iginla.
Iginla zipped a pass in front that caromed off the skate of
Flames forward Matthew Lombardi and went straight to a wide open
Amonte, who beat Bryzgalov with a low shot for his 21st career
Kiprusoff was brilliant through the first two periods as Calgary
held the lead after 40 minutes despite being outshot 24-17.
"The result is the biggest negative," Ducks coach Randy
Carlyle said. "Our effort was good, we had chances, but we just
didn't bury the puck."
Selanne was the most dangerous player on the ice but wasn't able
to solve his Finnish countryman despite numerous good scoring
chances. He had a breakaway 2 minutes into the second period that
Kiprusoff stopped with a pad.
"Without Kiprusoff, this game should be over after two
periods," Selanne said.
Calgary and Anaheim are the last two teams to represent the
Western Conference in the Stanley Cup finals. The Flames lost in
seven games to Tampa Bay in 2004 and the Ducks fell to New Jersey
the year before in a series that also went the distance.
Backing up Bryzgalov was 26-year-old Nathan Marsters, who
was recalled from Portland of the AHL. ... McCarty played in his
team-leading 151st postseason game. Stephane Yelle ranks second at
135 games. Four Flames (Huselius, Dion Phaneuf, Jamie Lundmark and
Ritchie) appeared in their first career playoff game. ... At 147
games, D Scott Niedermayer leads Anaheim in postseason experience.
Including Bryzgalov, nine Mighty Ducks made their playoff debut.
... Calgary entered having lost its playoff opener eight
consecutive times. This was the Flames' first opening win since
1988 when they beat the Los Angeles Kings 9-2.