June 13th, 2024

Kuzmenko’s hat trick leads Calgary to 6-3 victory over Anaheim

By Greg Beacham, The Associated Press on April 12, 2024.

Calgary Flames center Connor Zary (47) celebrates his goal against the Anaheim Ducks during the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday, April 12, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Andrei Kuzmenko scored three goals, Nazem Kadri had a goal and two assists, and the Calgary Flames withstood Anaheim’s third-period rally for a 6-3 victory over the Ducks on Friday night.

Kuzmenko got his second career hat trick with two goals in the final 5:38 after Anaheim had trimmed Calgary’s 4-0 lead to one goal. Andrew Mangiapane and Connor Zary also scored for the Flames, who won for only the third time in 12 games. Dustin Wolf made 19 saves.

Sam Colangelo scored a goal in his NHL debut for the Ducks, and Frank Vatrano and Olen Zellweger scored shortly afterward. But Kuzmenko deflected Jonathan Huberdeau’s shot to keep the Flames ahead with 5:38 to play on a power play, and he added another less than three minutes later.

The game also was the last at Honda Center for longtime Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg, who announced his impending retirement this week after a 12-year NHL career.

John Gibson stopped 21 shots in the final home game of the sixth consecutive non-playoff season for the Ducks, who have lost 15 of 18. Anaheim finished with just 12 home victories this season, fewer than every team except NHL-worst San Jose with 11.

Mangiapane tapped in his 14th goal to cap an impressive sequence of short-handed forechecking by Calgary in the first period. Kadri doubled the lead six minutes later with his 27th goal, and Kuzmenko scored his 19th of the season from inside Gibson’s goal crease in the second period.

The Ducks trailed 4-0 before Colangelo easily tapped in his goal in the third period when a puck trickled underneath Wolf and sat in the crease. The Ducks drafted Colangelo in the second round in 2020, and the 22-year-old forward from Massachusetts turned pro this month after his senior season at Western Michigan.

Vatrano scored on a spectacular no-look pass from Trevor Zegras behind the Flames’ net, and Zellweger made it 4-3 just 48 seconds later with a shot through traffic for his second career goal.

The 33-year-old Silfverberg spent the last 11 seasons of his 12-year NHL career with the Ducks, playing a key supporting role as a gifted two-way forward on a series of five consecutive Pacific Division champions from 2013-17. Anaheim made two Western Conference finals during that stretch with Silfverberg, who rebounded from a potentially serious blood clot in his leg two seasons ago to finish out his contract this year.

Silfverberg got a standing ovation after a tribute video played during the first media timeout. Before the game, the forward received a Rolex watch, a customized table tennis table and a gaming chair from different portions of the organization.

UP NEXT

Flames: Host Arizona on Sunday.

Ducks: At Los Angeles on Saturday.

___

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL

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