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Preview: Series Shifts to Calgary for Pivotal Game 3

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

CALGARY -- With victories in Games 1 and 2 at Honda Center, the Ducks will look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead tonight against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome in this best-of-seven First Round matchup (7 p.m. PT, Prime Ticket & NBCSN/KSPN 710).

The Ducks enter tonight's game without a loss in regulation in their last 16 games, going 11-0-3 in the regular season and 2-0 in the playoffs. Anaheim has also posted a 31-11-7 record in the last 49 games (29-11-7 regular season, 2-0 playoffs) and a 16-2-3 mark in the last 21 contests (14-2-3 regular season, 2-0 playoffs).

Anaheim's lead in this series has a lot to do with the production of its captain. Ryan Getzlaf scored his sixth career postseason game-winning goal with 4:46 remaining in the third period of Game 2 to lift the Ducks to a 2-0 series lead. Getzlaf recorded his second consecutive multi-point game (2 points, 1g/1a) in the victory and won 86% of his faceoffs, marking a postseason career high. Getzlaf has done considerable damage in his postseason career against the Flames, earning 14 points (4g/10a) in 14 games.

A hostile "C of Red" will greet the Ducks inside Scotiabank Saddledome tonight for the second time in the last three playoffs. These two clubs met two years ago in the Second Round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, a series the Ducks won in five games. The Ducks lost Game 3 of that series in Calgary (OTL), but took Game 4 and eliminated the Flames with a Game 5 overtime goal from Corey Perry.

"I've had the experience to play there in the playoffs, and any time you go there, even in the regular season, it gets loud in there," said Jakob Silfverberg, who has two goals and three points in this series. "But [Honda Center] gets pretty crazy too, especially [Saturday], so it's going to be a good atmosphere and hopefully a good game too."

Head coach Randy Carlyle adds, "It's going to be that much more intense, and I'm sure the aggression will be up there. Their fan base is going to be rabid. It will be a wild night in the Saddledome."

For what it's worth, teams that take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series hold an all-time series record of 305-48 (86.4%).

During his media availability yesterday, Carlyle said injured defenseman Sami Vatanen will be reassessed today during the morning skate and pregame warmup. Vatanen suffered an upper-body injury in Game 1 and was a late scratch in Game 2 despite taking warmups. In his place was Korbinian Holzer, who made his postseason debut.

Already without Cam Fowler (lower-body injury), Carlyle has given rookies Brandon Montour and Shea Theodore elevated roles. In fact, four of the six defensemen that dressed in Game 2 - Holzer, Montour, Theodore and Josh Manson - had just 10 games combined of postseason experience.

"We stated before the playoffs started, that we thought we were going to have to use nine defensemen through the course of the playoffs," said Carlyle. "We're at eight right now, and that's great for our younger kids, getting the exposure and experience of playoff hockey and should only bode well for their future. I don't see them intimidated by it, not in the first two games anyway. Now it's going to be a different animal when we go to Calgary, we know that - the intensity, and their fan base. I'm sure they're going to be much more aggressive in the way they play and the approach they take."

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