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Ducks look to get back in win column against Flames

by David Kalan

DUCKS (43-15-7) at FLAMES (25-33-7)


Last 10: Anaheim 4-4-2; Calgary 4-6-0

Season series: This is the third game this season between the Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames. The Ducks won the first two, the most recent a 5-2 victory at Honda Center on Nov. 29, 2013. The Ducks and Flames conclude their season series on March 26 in Calgary.

Big story: After slipping behind the St. Louis Blues in the race for the Presidents' Trophy, the Ducks will look to snap a three-game losing streak and stay in the chase for the No. 1 overall seed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Team Scope:

Ducks: For much of this season it appeared Anaheim would control its own fate in the hunt for the franchise's first-ever Presidents' Trophy. But a slump that began in early February has turned the tables. The Ducks have lost six of their past nine games, dropping them behind St. Louis for lead in the overall standings.

Perhaps even more worrisome for Anaheim is that all but one of those nine games were at home, where the Ducks have gone 24-6-4 this season, one of the best marks in the League.

Anaheim finished a five-game homestand with two wins after losing 3-1 on Monday to the Toronto Maple Leafs and former Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, who was making his first visit since being fired by the team in late 2011. The defeat came on the heels of consecutive shootout losses to the Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins.

"The last three games I thought we've done a great job. We've worked hard, gotten pucks back after shots, we've shot pucks," captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "They're just not going in. I'm not accepting that. Those are the things we have to focus on as a group. When the power play works, it's because everybody is working and everybody is shooting. I thought our guys have done that the last three games. We need to support each other through those things."

The Ducks' visit to Calgary is the first stop on a three-game trip which continues against the Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings. Anaheim will play seven of its next nine games on the road.

Flames: Much like March itself, Calgary came into the month like a lion, winning three of its first four games. Since then, the Flames seem to be reverting to more lamb-like tendencies. Calgary has lost its past two games, including a 2-1 loss Saturday to the reeling Vancouver Canucks.

The rebuilding Flames are now in sixth place in the Pacific Division and 13th overall in the Western Conference.

Calgary's game against Anaheim will close a brief two-game homestand in which the Flames hosted both of the NHL's southern California teams. On Monday, Calgary became the latest victim of the surging Kings in a 3-2 loss.

"That's a team that's not going to make it easy on you, but I think if you asked them, they probably didn't play their best game either," forward Mike Cammalleri said. "No excuse, but we were maybe flatter than we'd like to be, and we needed to find some more energy and more bite to our game earlier than we did."

Forward Matt Stajan is on a leave of absence following the death of his newborn son and expected to miss the game.

Who's hot: Ducks forward Corey Perry has five goals in the past four games. … Flames forward Brian McGrattan has scored in two straight games.

Injury report: Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa (lower body) is expected to be in the lineup, while forward Mathieu Perreault (upper body) and defenseman Stephane Robidas (broken leg) are out. … Flames forwards Curtis Glencross (lower body) and Kevin Westgarth (head) will return to the lineup. Forwards Markus Granlund (upper body), Jiri Hudler (upper body) and David Jones (upper body), as well as defenseman Dennis Wideman (upper body) and goalie Karri Ramo (MCL) are all out.

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