Ducks fall to Flames in final home game of the season

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Ducks' slow start prevented them from keeping things close until too late in their final home game of the season.

ANAHEIM, Calif. – In their final home game of the 2023-24 season, the Ducks couldn’t play up to the occasion against the Calgary Flames, falling 6-3 in Jakob Silfverberg’s final home game as an NHL player. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Silfverberg announced his retirement from the NHL on Thursday.

Before the game, Silfverberg’s teammates presented him with a Rolex while the athletic training staff gifted him a gaming chair. Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli presented Silfverberg with a custom ping-pong table, adorned with the Ducks logo, his name and the Swedish flag.

“It’s been a different day with a lot of different emotions,” Silfverberg said. “As for the game, tough start to the game but I thought we made a good push in the third and played some really good hockey, gave it a good chance.”

“The crowd was awesome, especially in the third when we got going a little bit. It turned into a pretty good game. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it all the way, but I’m really appreciative for what the team has done for me.”

Sam Colangelo also made his NHL debut after signing his entry-level contract on Thursday. He skated on a line with Silfverberg and Isac Lundeström and his first NHL goal 2:54 into the third period kickstarted a comeback effort for the Ducks, who were down 4-0 at the time.

“It means the world to me,” said Colangelo when asked what it meant to score his first NHL goal in front of not only the home crowd but his parents as well. “It was pretty cool to see the video of my parents celebrating, I know they might have been just as happy if not happier than I was. Really cool feeling and means the world to me that they could be here even though it’s pretty much fully across the country.”

“I thought he was good,” said head coach Greg Cronin of Colangelo. “I didn’t think anybody was good the first two periods, to be blunt with you. But I thought he skated well, I thought he was good and strong on the puck.”

The game’s result took a backseat once the final horn sounded as the team remained on the ice to salute the fans one last time this season before honoring Silfverberg at center ice. With two games remaining, Silfverberg said he intends to play in both but that the decision is ultimately up to the coaching staff.