The penultimate contest of a season-opening four-game homestand takes place later tonight as the Ducks host the visiting Calgary Flames at Honda Center. The Ducks (1-0-1, 3 points) have opened the season with points in consecutive games for only the fourth time in franchise history and their seven goals through two games are tied for the second-best start in franchise history.
The Flames (1-1-0, 2 points) are coming off a 6-3 victory two nights ago in their home opener against the Winnipeg Jets. Led by four-point performances from left wing Johnny Gaudreau (1g/3a) and defenseman T.J. Brodie (2g/2a), the Flames erased a 3-1 deficit with four goals in the second period en route to the victory.
This is the opener of a four-game season series between these two Pacific Division rivals, which resumes on December 29 at Honda Center before shifting to Scotiabank Saddledome on January 6 and March 21. Anaheim has won an NHL record 25 consecutive home games over Calgary, the league's longest home winning streak against one opponent. The Ducks have not lost at home to the Flames since Jan. 19, 2004 and are 27-8-2 overall vs. Calgary dating to Nov. 29, 2007. The Ducks, who own an all-time record of 56-36-9 vs. the Flames, including a 36-8-6 mark at Honda Center, enter tonight's game with wins in nine of their last 10 games vs. Calgary dating to Nov. 24, 2015 (9-1-0).
The Ducks have been hit hard by injuries, but healthy bodies could return to the lineup sooner than later. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, who has missed the first two games of the season with a lower-body injury, took part in a full practice yesterday and could make this debut tonight. Patrick Eaves, who missed most of training camp and all of the preseason, also practiced, but his availability for tonight is unlikely. Defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen could make their debuts ahead of schedule (approximate return date was early November), while Ryan Kesler's timeframe remains long term. Nick Ritchie missed Saturday's game with a lower-body injury, but took part in yesterday's practice.
"Hopefully we can expedite some of these bodies back into our lineup at some point over the next week or so," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. "That will be up to them and how they respond to the pushing that has to take place for some of them. Eaves missed a good part of training camp and Getzlaf missed the last week of training camp. Vatanen and Lindholm have been skating pretty hard."
Tonight's game will be televised on Prime Ticket and broadcast on AM 830.
Video: The Ducks discuss the game against the Calgary Flames