Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/22/13
CALGARY -- Anaheim Ducks winger Daniel Winnik is making an early case that he was the NHL's best free-agent signing in the offseason. Winnik scored just eight goals in 84 regular-season games between the Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks in 2011-12, but the rugged forward already has four in two games for the Ducks, including two in Monday's 5-4 victory over the host Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Centre Ryan Getzlaf, who played his junior hockey for the Western Hockey League's Calgary Hitmen, also scored twice as the Ducks started the season with back-to-back wins for the first time since 2006-07. Monday's clash featured some wild swings of momentum. The Ducks scored three times on their first six shots on Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, and the Flames evened it up with three unanswered goals. Getzlaf scored the winner with 8:45 remaining in the third period, grabbing a loose puck in the slot and ripping it past a screened Kiprusoff. Lee Stempniak trimmed the lead to one, but the Flames couldn't complete the comeback in front of a sellout crowd of 19,289. Getzlaf opened the scoring for the visitors, deflecting Toni Lydman's point shot past Kiprusoff just 1:06 after the opening faceoff. Kiprusoff didn't have much hope on the next goal, either, a nifty re-direct by Ducks center Saku Koivu after a sharp pass from linemate Andrew Cogliano. Anaheim made it a three-goal lead just past the midway mark of the opening period, with Winnik's shot hitting Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman and changing directions. The Flames finally showed signs of life with 3:06 remaining in the first period. Winger Curtis Glencross got his stick on Wideman's slap shot on the power play, and it fooled Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller on what was only Calgary's third shot of the contest. Flames center Alex Tanguay trimmed the lead before the first intermission, grabbing a loose puck in the slot and going top shelf. The hosts opened the second period on a power play, and Glencross tied it up before half the fans had even made it to the front of the popcorn line, deflecting Michael Cammalleri's shot into the bottom corner on what turned out to be the only tally of the middle frame. Winnik and Cogliano teamed up again on Anaheim's fourth goal, both crashing the crease on an offensive rush early in the third period. Winnik got his stick on the puck and slid it underneath Kiprusoff to break a 3-3 tie. After Getzlaf gave the Ducks a bit of insurance, Stempniak snapped a puck past Hiller on a breakaway with 5:56 remaining, but that's as close as the Flames would get. NOTES: Heading into Monday's date with the Flames, the Ducks had not won back-to-back games to start the season since 2006-07. ... Both teams made goalie moves before the game. The Ducks recalled Viktor Fasth from the AHL and assigned Frederik Andersen to their farm club. The Flames traded Henrik Karlsson, who was third on their depth chart, to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. ... Cam Fowler made his season debut for the Ducks after missing the opener because of the flu. Blair Jones and T.J. Brodie both stepped into the Flames' lineup after being healthy scratches in the first game of the season. ... The Flames are still without left wing Jiri Hudler (personal), center Roman Cervenka (blood issue) and defenseman Anton Babchuk (shoulder). ... After starting the season with two games in Canada, the Ducks head back to Anaheim for Friday's home opener against the Vancouver Canucks.
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