CALGARY, AB -- What a turnaround.
The Anaheim Ducks' start to the 2015-16 season didn't breed any confidence in their ability to make it to the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs; they won a single game in October and collected four points, thanks to a pair of extra time losses, in the opening month of the campaign.
Fast forward three months later and the Ducks have compiled a 27-19-8 record with 62 points on the year, good for third place in the Pacific Division. They trail second place San Jose by a single point and are seven points behind the division-leading LA Kings.
Suffice to say, they have come a long way from their stilted start.
"Guys are playing good. In the beginning of the season, we had no confidence," Patrick Maroon told AnaheimDucks.com earlier this month. "Everyone is chipping in now, and everyone has confidence. Trust me. Confidence goes a long way in this game. If you don’t have it, your game isn’t going to be there. We have such a close team, so everyone picks each other up. Everyone is here for each other."
The Ducks come into Monday afternoon's game on a high note after defeating the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, on Saturday in overtime. Ryan Getzlaf scored the game-winner at the 2:16 mark of the extra frame, giving Anaheim their eighth win in their last 10 games.
"We never quit," Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said afterwards. "The one thing we did, I use the term stay the course. We didn't panic in the third period and start having our 'd' go down the boards real early. We stayed within our system, we stayed with the changing of the lines, and once we scored the first goal, we had a lot of confidence."
The Ducks and Flames have faced off twice in their five-game 2015-16 season series. Anaheim has taken both games with Getzlaf leading the way with five assists.
Michael Frolik leads the Flames in scoring against the Ducks with two goals while Sam Bennett (one goal, one assist) and Kris Russell (two assists) also have two points in the series.
BREAKING DOWN THE DUCKS
Power Play: 18.2 percent overall (28 goals scored in 154 chances with the man advantage), 17.1 percent on the road (12 goals scored in 70 chances with the man advantage)
Penalty Kill: 88.3 percent overall (22 goals allowed in 188 times being short-handed), 87.9 percent on the road (11 goals allowed in 91 times being short-handed)
2015-16 Record vs. the Flames: 2-0-0
2014-15 Record vs. the Flames: 3-1-1
Notable Injuries: Chris Stewart (upper body), Clayton Stoner (undisclosed)
Who's HOT: Ryan Getzlaf
Like his team, the Ducks captain got off to a rough start to the 2015-16 campaign. He's now making up for lost time.
Getzlaf has eight points in his last four games and is coming off a one-goal, two-point performance against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. He leads his team in scoring with six goals and 42 points in 50 games this year.
Honourable Mention: Jakob Silfverberg
The 25-year-old Swede has been heating up in his last couple of games. Silfverberg scored a goal in the Ducks overtime victory in Chicago on Saturday and had an assist in Anaheim's shootout setback in Columbus on Thursday.
Silfverberg has seven goals and 19 points to his name this season.
Who's NOT: Hampus Lindholm
The defenceman, who has hit the 30-point plateau the past two seasons, has been held off the scoresheet in his past four games and is a minus-three in that stretch. In 53 skates, Lindholm has six goals, 14 points, and is a minus-seven.