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Ducks closing in on division title, No. 2 seed

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- The Anaheim Ducks, winless in their past three games, are looking to get back on track against the Calgary Flames on Friday night.

A victory over the Flames would bring the Ducks within one win of clinching the Pacific Division title, something coach Bruce Boudreau is eying.

"We'd certainly like to have that, and then we'd love to secure second overall in the Western Conference, which I think is the same thing, two wins, but every team that we're playing is playing really hard right now," he said. "Calgary's a great example of a team not throwing in the towel. To beat a hungry Detroit team in their last game says something to me. We better be ready."

The Ducks sit five points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks.

Though he'd like to lock up a division title, Boudreau isn't sure if heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs on a high gives Anaheim any advantage when postseason play starts.

"I've seen it happen both ways," he said. "I've seen teams fight to the last day and then they're in such a playoff mode that they keep going. I've seen it where teams have lost four in a row, then went to the playoffs and won the whole thing. I've seen teams that have gone in on a 6-0 roll and won it. I don't know what's the best thing.

"You just want to go in healthy. We've got some guys banged up pretty good right now that are still playing through them. We'd like to win and be able to, if it's possible, rest some guys."

The Ducks could return a couple players against the Flames. Boudreau admitted there would be a few game-time decisions.

"I don't know yet," he said. "I'll have to check it out. We'll see."


Sven Baertschi - Matt Stajan - Lee Stempniak

Curtis Glencross - Mikael Backlund - Jiri Hudler

Roman Horak - Mike Cammalleri - Roman Cervenka

Brian McGrattan - Maxwell Reinhart - Tim Jackman

TJ Brodie - Chris Butler

Mark Giordano - Cory Sarich

Brett Carson - Anton Babchuk

Miikka Kiprusoff

Joey MacDonald

Scratched: Steve Begin, Ben Hanowski, Mark Cundari

Injured: Dennis Wideman (broken finger), Alex Tanguay (knee), Derek Smith (knee)

Notes: With Wideman injured, the Flames recalled Mark Cundari from the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League. Cundari is expected to make his NHL debut Sunday against the Minnesota Wild. Butler, who has been battling the flu, will play. McGrattan will draw into the lineup after missing the past six games. Begin, who scored twice against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday, is expected to be scratched.


Kyle Palmieri - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Bobby Ryan - Saku Koivu - Andrew Cogliano

Matt Beleskey - Matthew Lombardi - Teemu Selanne

Daniel Winnik - David Steckel - Emerson Etem

Francois Beauchemin - Sheldon Souray

Ben Lovejoy - Tony Lydman

Sami Vatanen - Bryan Allen

Viktor Fasth

Jonas Hiller

Scratched: Radek Dvorak, Brad Staubitz, Jordan Hendry

Injured: Luca Sbisa (soreness), Cam Fowler (upper body), Nick Bonino (lower body)

Notes: Sbisa and Fowler are close to returning according to Boudreau. Should neither be ready Friday, the Ducks are expected to ice the same roster they used in Wednesday's 3-2 OT loss to Columbus.

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