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Preview: Flames vs. Ducks

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

DUCKS (34-35-12) at FLAMES (36-29-16)


Last 10:
Anaheim 4-5-1; Calgary 2-4-4

Season Series: This will be the fourth meeting of the season between the teams. All three previous games have been one-goal affairs, with the Ducks winning the last two. In their last meeting, Ryan Getzlaf's goal with 46 seconds left in the third period gave the Ducks a 3-2 win.

Big Story:
Ducks forward and certain Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne could be playing his final NHL game.

Team Scope:

Ducks: Getzlaf scored in overtime Thursday to lift his team to a 3-2 win in Edmonton, but he was in no mood to celebrate.

It was just the 10th goal this season for the Ducks captain, and when asked what he'd like to do with his 2011-12 season, Getzlaf told the Orange County Register, "Forget about it."

Getzlaf said he's baffled by his poor play, considering he's been healthy all season.

"You look for answers," Getzlaf said. "I wish I could come up with them. It's one of those where … I've watched video. Different things and (other) stuff. I think I put out a little bit too much at the start of the year, mainly trying to do too much and worrying about what your team was doing and that kind of stuff. As opposed to just getting myself ready to play every night and leading by example rather than trying to worry about the other guys in the room. That's one thing I can definitely change coming into next year."

Getzlaf said he doesn't plan on dwelling on this season any longer than he has to, and said that starts with playing for Canada at the IIHF 2012 World Championship.

Thursday's game didn't mean much for the Flames, but for rookie forward Akim Aliu, the 3-2 win against the Canucks was one he'll never forget.

Aliu had an assist, two penalty minutes and four hits in 10:34 in his first NHL game.

"Doesn't mean much in the standings to us," Aliu told the Calgary Herald, "but it means a whole lot to me."

The 22-year-old forward brought some youthful exuberance to a Flames team that has been left in the spoiler role with their playoff hopes ended.

"He was very excited," forward Mike Cammalleri told the Herald. "We talked earlier about the love for the game and you could just see it in his body language; how appreciative he is to be here. He played hard for us, and great for him he gets his first win and his first point in his first game. That's only going to happen once for him."

Who's Hot:
Getzlaf has scored in back-to-back games for the first time since scoring in three straight Oct. 23-27. … Cammalleri has 3 goals in his last two games and 6 in the last nine.

Injury Report: Ducks goalie Dan Ellis (sports hernia) and defenseman Nate Guenin (fracture above left eye) are out. … Flames forward Mikael Backlund (arm) and defenseman TJ Brodie (upper body) are out. Forward David Moss (undisclosed) and defenseman Derek Smith (upper body) are questionable for Saturday's game.

Stat Pack:
Selanne goes into the last game of the season with 663 goals, 12th all-time and one behind 11th-place Jaromir Jagr. He's 19th with 1,406 points, just three behind 18th-place Dale Hawerchuk.

Puck Drop:
Selanne has said this likely will be his last season, but hasn't completely closed the door. That might be because Ducks GM Bob Murray has jammed his foot in there to keep it open.

Selanne, 41, goes into Saturday's game leading the Ducks with 66 points, showing he still can produce at a top level, and assuming he plays Saturday, he'll play all 82 games for the first time since the 2006-07 season.

As much as Murray would love for Selanne to return for a 20th NHL season, he said he'll give Selanne as much time as he needs to make a decision, the same as he's done the last few years. 

"We have a really good relationship, Teemu and I," Murray told the Orange County Register. "He trusts me and I trust him. We'll talk. Everything with Teemu, I totally understand his [position]. He's going to want to be good and that means he's going to have to work his butt off. And I understand. That'll be the deciding factor."
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