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Game 1 of best-of-7 series
The Calgary Flames will try to break a nearly decade-long losing streak at Honda Center when they play the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round on Thursday.
The Flames haven't won a road game against the Ducks since Game 3 of their first-round series in the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They have lost 20 straight regular-season games in Anaheim (0-15-5) dating to Jan. 19, 2004.
"Those are different teams, so you can talk to those guys about a curse," Calgary center Joe Colborne said. "We feel pretty confident going up against this group. We've played them pretty well at home over the past couple years. It's something that we're going to have to go in on the road and steal one, and get back here in front of our fans and go from there."
The Ducks agree the Flames' futility in Anaheim has little bearing on this series.
"[It means] absolutely nothing," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "It's a different group every season. We know they've beat us this year. We know they can beat us if we don't play our game. Coming into our building, we want it to be tough for everybody. That's going to start with Game 1."
The Ducks will face former Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller, who was 1-2-0 with a 3.43 goals-against average and .889 save percentage in four games against them in the regular season. It figures to be a different dynamic in a best-of-7 series though.
"It should be a great challenge for us," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He knows where our shooters, most of them, shoot. We know where most of the goals have gone in on him. But in the end I don't think it's going to be a battle between Hiller and the Ducks. It's going to be between the Flames and the Ducks. He'll be a big part of it, but it's not going to be the final component."
Anaheim will have been off a week when the puck drops for Game 1 following its sweep of the Winnipeg Jets in the first round; it was the only series decided in four games.
The Ducks have played eight games in April because of a staggered end to the regular season, so they are used to having time off.
"We've been at the rink quite a bit, that's for sure, hanging out," Anaheim forward Corey Perry said. "For the body, it's great. But you still get to go home and you still get to see other games that are going on and just getting ready."