Ducks Radio Analyst
CALGARY, Alberta – The key word for the Ducks and Calgary Flames tonight is “desperation.” Neither club can afford to come away from a matchup at the Pengrowth Saddledome with less than two points.
With a victory tonight, the Ducks can match their season-high with a five-game winning streak and, more important, pull within seven points of the Detroit Red Wings, who currently hold the eighth and final Stanley Cup playoff position in the NHL’s Western Conference.
The Flames, in ninth place, are four points behind the Red Wings and every bit as desperate as the Ducks.
“It’s Game 7 for both of us,” veteran Calgary center Craig Conroy said, likening the contest to a decisive meeting in a playoff series. “It’s going to be a physical, fast-paced game.”
The Ducks defeated the Flames twice in Anaheim earlier this season, but dropped a 3-1 decision in their previous visit to Calgary, on Feb. 13.
Coming off victories over San Jose, Chicago, the New York Islanders and Colorado in the final four-games of a seven-game homestand, the challenge for the Ducks is clear.
“Now we have to take the show on the road,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. “One game at a time.”
With games in Vancouver on Wednesday and Edmonton on Friday to cap a three-game trip, the Ducks will be looking to improve on an 11-18-5 road record this season.
Good news for the Ducks is that winger Bobby Ryan
is set to return after having missed Sunday’s 5-2 triumph over the Avalanche with what he now believes was food poisoning. Ryan reported feeling much better following today’s morning skate.
The Ducks also appeared to dodge a bullet when veteran center Saku Koivu
took a puck to the facial area in the third period against Colorado. Koivu skated this morning and is expected to be in the lineup.
Down a very important defenseman, with James Wisniewski set to serve the third game of an eight-game, NHL-imposed suspension for a Wednesday hit on Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook, the Ducks recalled blue-liner Brendan Mikkelson from the Toronto Marlies of the American League.
Mikkelson spent time with the Ducks both last season and earlier this season.
“He’s played very well in Toronto,” Carlyle said. “He’s been a go-to guy for the Marlies. Any situation they needed to put him in, they did.”
Mikkelson will not necessarily play tonight, but will add insurance against an injury to another defenseman.