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FLAMES REWIND - 09.04.17

The Flames are ready for the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs

by AARON VICKERS @AAVickers / CalgaryFlames.com

Edmonton Oilers or Anaheim Ducks?

Facing the so-called Disneyland Curse, or those cursed rivals up the QEII? 

The Calgary Flames will know by Sunday's end.

A Pacific Division champion crowned.

A destination determined.

"Right now it's really what we ask of our coaching staff," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We've got to dig in here and prepare for two scenarios.

"We'll get to work tomorrow. 

"Give the guys the day off tomorrow and we'll put together something. We've got something in the works for Monday after practice. We'll get our guys together. We're healthy.

"We've got some work to do as a staff, then we'll get the guys prepared."

The Flames will meet the team that tops the Pacific in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Ducks, who won three of four regular season meetings with the Flames, lead the division with 103 points and one game remaining. The Oilers, who swept the season series with Calgary for the first time in the storied history of the Battle of Alberta, sit at 101 points with one game remaining.

An Edmonton win against the Vancouver Canucks, and an Anaheim loss versus the Los Angeles Kings, would give the Oilers a division title and an opportunity to host the Flames at Rogers Place.

A single point from the Ducks against Los Angeles would have Calgary destined for another date at the Honda Center.

"We're going to be prepared," Gultuzan said. "What I like most is our health and the energy we have. I think our team is well rested. I think we have lots of juice. I like where we're sitting.

"I'm ready to get it going."

OVER THE BOARDS

Congrats to goaltender David Rittich and Rasmus Andersson on making their NHL debuts in Game No. 82 of the regular season. … Can't imagine the smile on Curtis Lazar, who scored his first goal with the Flames -- and first of the season -- in Calgary's 3-1 loss at the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Lazar has three points in four games with Calgary after netting just a single assist in 33 games with the Ottawa Senators. … Welcome to pro hockey, Matthew Phillips. … Fifty points for Dougie Hamilton in 2016-17. Not bad. With an assist on Lazar's goal, Matthew Tkachuk hit the 35-assist plateau. Dinner's on him. … How about that breakaway goal by Dennis Wideman against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday? No. 99 in his NHL career. … Approximately 3,000 tickets per game will be released by the Flames for the opening round of the playoffs. Got yours?

OVERTIME

Rittich and Andersson weren't the only debuts this week. Jon Gillies, who flip-flopped with Rittich on Saturday morning, won his first NHL start Thursday against the Kings. "Honestly, it's in LA, which was my favourite team until I got drafted by the Flames," Gillies said. "It's a building I watched a lot of hockey in online when I was in college and stuff like that. Most of all, it's that my parents were able to be here and my little brother was able to be here and three of my four very best friends in the entire world were able to fly out. That means the world to me." So too will the accomplishment. Gillies, selected in the third round (No. 75) of the 2012 NHL Draft, is the fifth goaltender in Flames franchise history to win his NHL debut and first since Reto Berra on Nov. 3, 2013, according to Elias Sports Bureau. "He played great," defenceman Wideman said. "He made a lot of big saves. He looked really comfortable. We're happy for him. It's his first game. First game. First win. It was great for him and I'm sure he was really excited." Gillies dropped back to Stockton of the American Hockey League, who are in the midst of chasing down an appearance in the Calder Cup Playoffs. But not without his first win. "That was an unbelievable effort by our team," Gillies said. "It was fun to play behind. When you play behind a group like that, it's easy to see why they've had so much success this year."

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