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FOCUSED ON GAME 3

No time to dwell on the past as Flames aim to win pair back at Scotiabank Saddledome

by AARON VICKERS @aavickers / calgaryflames.com

The sky, coach Glen Gulutzan insists, isn't falling around his Flames.

There's no grief surrounding his group.

No hurt feelings to speak of.

Despite being down 2-0 in their Western Conference first-round best-of-7 series to the Anaheim Ducks, Gulutzan's Flames are in a positive headspace with the series shifting back to Scotiabank Saddledome for Game 3 on Monday (8 p.m. MT; CBC, SN960).

"You judge your players … you're around them all year," Gulutzan said. "There's no 'poor me' coming into it right now. We know we're playing a really good hockey team. We knew the games were going to be close. Have we gotten any? Nope. We haven't gotten any yet. But if we continue…I can tell in their attitude that they fully believe they're going to come back and play hard.

"This game can change quickly. We've already talked about momentum before the season started and how quickly it shifts from game-to-game and within a game. We're hoping if we can continue we'll change momentum."

The reasons to be upset are there.

A 5-on-3 opportunity wasted in the late stages of Game 1 with the team trailing by one in an eventual 3-2 loss.

A puzzling no-goal call earlier, and an equally head-scratching game-winner off the stick of Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf (and then the skate of Flames forward Lance Bouma) on a powerplay late in a Game 2 decided by a 3-2 score.

Woe?

No.

"We believe in each other," said Sean Monahan, who has powerplay goals in each of the opening two games of the series.

"We know we're a good team and we know we can win here. It's just a matter of getting the job done. Obviously they got a lucky bounce there at the end last game and mentally we know we're right there.

"We've got to come out strong and be ready here for Game 3."

Doesn't sound like a panicked group.

Not when they're home for the next two.

Not with the belief planted in them that they can hang with the Pacific Division-winner.

"I can tell you right now 'the sky is falling' feeling isn't' here right now," Gulutzan declared. "We went into Anaheim trying to plant a seed that we can win and can win this series. We haven't got the result, but what we've done is we've planted the seed that these games are going to be close and contested and tough.

"Going into this Game 3, I think both teams are expecting the same thing. We're going to have our home crowd behind us, which I know from the start of the year the guys are excited about.

"There's no 'poor me' right now. We know we're in a series. We know every game of the series is going to be a battle. Anything we can do to get some puck luck and get more pucks and stuff to the net we're going to do.

"We're not down in the dumps, I can tell you that."

 

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