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At the Rink: Ducks at Flames

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- Coach Bruce Boudreau will split the duo of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, at least temporarily, as he looks to spark the Anaheim Ducks against the Calgary Flames on Friday.

"I think if both of them aren't going to their level and they're both in a slump … and you keep them together, that means the one line that's playing 20 minutes a game is not doing as well as it should be," Boudreau said. "Hopefully other guys can help them out a little bit and it gives us a little bit of variety.

"Sometimes guys just get stale playing with each other for a little while and they need a break. In Washington, I always ended up having to break up (Nicklas) Backstrom and (Alex) Ovechkin for a few games. Not forever but just to get them back on track. The last time we did this they stayed apart for a period.

"I wouldn't say it's something that is necessarily going to last a long time."

The Pacific Division-leading Ducks have one win in their past six games (1-4-1) and have been outscored 23-13 during the span. Getzlaf, who leads the Ducks with 54 points, has been held without a point in four straight, and Perry, who leads the Ducks with 24 goals, has one in his past five games.

"Every team that has their leaders, every team looks to those guys to help them out of it," Boudreau said. "We're no different than anybody else. When our best players are playing to their best, we're usually pretty successful; it's only when they're not that bad things usually happen. Hopefully being in Calgary they'll be able to step it up a little bit tonight."

Getzlaf said he is hoping the Ducks can come together as a team against the Flames.

"We just need to play a team game," he said. "It's a matter of everybody coming together, doing our own jobs and getting back to the way we played hockey at the start of the season, where we were all playing together and everyone was working for each other.

"We're playing hockey that we're not used to playing. I think that over the last couple of weeks here it's been a little bit rough. Those are patches you're going to go through as a group. We've got to come out of them as a group, and that's how you learn from those things."

Despite Anaheim's recent struggles, Flames coach Bob Hartley remains wary of the Ducks.

"Dangerous beasts or dangerous Ducks," Hartley said. "They are 1-4 on their last five (games). There's lots of character, lots of talent on that team, and they know how to win. It's going to be a big one, but on our side it's always about how we prepare and how we focus, and we're not going to change.

"We're aware of the Ducks' situation lately."

Here are the projected lineups:

DUCKS

Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Kyle Palmieri

Devante Smith-Pelly - Ryan Kesler - Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano - Rickard Rakell - Jakob Silfverberg

Rene Bourque - Nate Thompson - Tim Jackman

Cam Fowler - Ben Lovejoy

Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin

Clayton Stoner - Josh Manson

John Gibson

Ilya Bryzgalov

Scratched: Emerson Etem, Eric Brewer

Injured: Sami Vatanen (leg), Matt Beleskey (shoulder), Frederik Andersen (neck)

FLAMES

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler

Lance Bouma - Mikael Backlund - David Jones

Mason Raymond - Markus Granlund - Curtis Glencross

Brandon Bollig - Matt Stajan - Joe Colborne

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie

Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman

Raphael Diaz - Deryk Engelland

Jonas Hiller

Karri Ramo

Scratched: Corey Potter, Josh Jooris

Injured: Sam Bennett (shoulder surgery), Ladislav Smid (upper body), Paul Byron (lower body)

Status report: Gibson will make his fourth straight start. … Boudreau said Lindholm, who sat out the Ducks' game Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning because of a lower-body injury, will be a game-time decision. … Granlund, recalled from Adirondack of the American Hockey League on Thursday, is expected to play his 34th NHL game this season.

Who's hot: Hudler, who leads the Flames with 49 points and is tied for the lead with 19 goals, has three goals and five points in his past three games. … Monahan, also with 19 goals, has five points during a three-game point streak.

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