In a rematch of last years’ Western Conference Semi-Finals, the Calgary Flames are taking to the Honda Center to face the Anaheim Ducks - where they have not won since 2004.
There is hope for a win this time around, though.
Uncharacteristically, the Ducks have started the season off poorly - sitting only a single point ahead of the Flames. And while the Ducks hobble into the contest having gone 4-4-2 in their past 10, the Flames are coming in having won three of their last four.
This is a new position for the Ducks at they were in control for most of 2014/15 and finished the season atop of the Pacific Division with 109 points.
"I wish I had the one word that would describe what’s been going on," said Ryan Getzlaf. "The fact is we didn't come out of the gates thawed we wanted to. When you start 1-7 or whatever it was, everything from then on seems like you win a couple and then lose one and you’re back to square one. It’s hard to build anything when you start the season like that."
Anaheim’s slow start is likely due, in part, to the inability to score. Their top two scorers from last season, Ryan Getzlaf (70) and Corey Perry (55), have only a combined 21 points through 21 games.
In comparison, the Flames top two scorers of 2015, Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan have combined for 35 points in 21 games.
2015 vs. the Flames: 0-0-0
All-Time vs. the Flames: 47-35-1
Vs. the Flames at Honda Center: 38-8-0
Notable Injuries: D Simon Despres, F Nate Thompson, F Jiri Sekac
Who’s Hot: Sami Vatanen
As a defenceman, Vatanen is third on the team in scoring with 9 points (4g, 5a). At this pace, he will end the season with around 35 points, just shy of his 2014/15 mark of 37. Over the past four games, the Finn has registered three points. As the quarterback on the top power play, he will e looking to continue his scoring ways when the Flames and Ducks hit the ice.
Who’s Not: Jakob Silfverberg
The former second round pick was fourth in scoring for the Ducks in 2014/15 when he compiled 13 goals and 26 assists. However, the Swede has only managed four points on the season. At the same point last season, he had 10 points to his name. The winger is skating on the second line with Nick Ritchie and Ryan Kesler, who is also having a down year.
Honourable Mention: Ryan Getzlaf
He may be second on the team in scoring with nine points (1g, 8a), but that’s more indicative of the team’s poor start than anything. This start puts the star forward on pace for 43 points, which is still well below his usual pace. He compiled 87 and 70 points in 2014 and 2015, respectively.