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Flames aim to leap over Ducks in West standings

by Brian Hunter /
DUCKS (30-21-4) at FLAMES (28-21-7)


Last 10:
Anaheim 7-3-0; Calgary 8-1-1

Season series:
Second of four meetings this season. Corey Perry scored the decisive shootout goal to lead Anaheim to a 3-2 win over Calgary at Honda Center on Dec. 10. The Ducks led that game 2-0 after two periods on goals by Lubomir Visnovsky and Dan Sexton, but the Flames battled back in the third as Olli Jokinen and David Moss evened the score.

Big story: Now that Calgary has re-entered the top eight in the Western Conference with its recent surge, the Flames are gunning for Anaheim and could move into seventh by winning this game in regulation. But the Ducks will have reinforcements -- center Ryan Getzlaf returned on Thursday after missing over a month with sinus fractures, and defenseman Francois Beauchemin will be in the lineup after he was reacquired from Toronto on Wednesday.

Team Scope:

Ducks: So far, so good -- Anaheim has come away with victories on each of the first two stops on a four-game road trip. That includes a 4-3 win Thursday against NHL-leading Vancouver. It was anything but easy, as the Ducks built a 3-0 lead that the Canucks whittled down to a single goal on two occasions -- the latter after Ryan Kesler scored with 20.2 seconds left in regulation. But Anaheim held on behind a pair of goals by Bobby Ryan and 35 saves from Curtis McElhinney.

"This building has been a nightmare for a lot of teams, so we've got to feel good," coach Randy Carlyle said.

Flames: It's nine straight games with at least a point now for Calgary, which is 2-0-1 on a four-game homestand that concludes Friday. The Flames survived an early burst from the Senators on Thursday, who answered Tim Jackman's opening goal with strikes from Chris Kelly and Chris Campoli 64 seconds apart to lead after 20 minutes. But the Flames scored twice in the second and third periods, with Jackman also finishing the scoring in a 5-2 win with a power-play goal.

"We came back here and refocused after the first period and went back out and stuck to our game plan," said Curtis Glencross, who scored the go-ahead goal. "We got bodies and pucks to the net."

Who's hot: Ryan has 4 goals and 2 assists during a five-game points streak for the Ducks. He's put up 10 goals and 5 assists in his last 12 games. Teemu Selanne has 5 goals and 8 assists over his last 12 games. Perry has 7 goals and 5 assists in his last 10 games.

Robyn Regehr, who played in his 800th NHL game for the Flames on Thursday, has 1 goal and 4 assists during a four-game points streak. Glencross has 3 goals in his last four games. Jokinen has consecutive multi-point efforts. Miikka Kiprusoff is 7-0-1 in his last eight starts, allowing two goals or fewer six times.

Injury report:
Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller is on injured reserve due to fatigue and lightheadedness. … Calgary forward Alex Tanguay is out indefinitely with a neck strain. Defenseman Adam Pardy is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Stat pack:
The Ducks managed to win 10 of 14 games while Getzlaf was out of the lineup. … The Flames had a big night on special teams against the Senators, going 3-for-5 on the power play and killing all three minor penalties against them.

Puck drop:
In spite of the fact Anaheim survived without him, getting Getzlaf back is a huge boost for the stretch run. He picked up an assist in his return against Vancouver, with a spinning, no-look backhand pass that Ryan converted for the first of his two goals.

"I was the only one in the building that knew that one was coming," Ryan said. "That's why he's one of the best playmakers in the League."

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