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Flames face do-or-die situation against Ducks

by Tal Pinchevsky
DUCKS (43-28-5) at FLAMES (38-28-11)


Last 10: 
Anaheim 8-2-0; Calgary 4-4-2

Season series: Coming into its fourth and final game this season against Calgary, Anaheim is looking to sweep the series. When the teams last met on March 20, Teemu Selanne tied the game with 2:01 left in regulation before Corey Perry scored his second OT winner in two nights and second game-winning goal against Calgary this season.

Big story: Both teams remain in the thick of a tight Western playoff race. But while Anaheim is playing its best hockey and occupying a playoff spot, Calgary is on the outside looking in. Every team ahead of the Flames has games in hand, making this matchup with Anaheim a make-or-break game.

Team Scope:

Ducks: Not much was expected of the Ducks when they were outscored 13-2 in their season-opening three-game road trip. But the Ducks have since thrust themselves into the postseason conversation, their star forwards leading the way, particularly Perry and Selanne.

Despite the return of All-Star goaltender Jonas Hiller on March 24, Ray Emery has started the Ducks' last two games. After topping Chicago 2-1 on Saturday, Emery made 31 stops against Colorado on Monday as the Ducks withstood an early 2-0 deficit and the 40-year-old Selanne's three-goal, five-point night paced a 5-4 win, the Ducks' sixth in their last seven games.

Flames: After enjoying a remarkable second-half run, Calgary is in danger of fading down the stretch. Before visiting Edmonton on Saturday, the Flames had lost three straight and six of their last seven. Against the Oilers, Calgary staged a comeback that may have saved their season.

Ryan Jones' early third-period goal put Calgary down 4-1 against their provincial rival. But three Flames goals in 12 minutes tied the game before Alex Tanguay scored the lone shootout goal to hand Calgary an unbelievable 5-4 win.

"That was awesome," said Jarome Iginla, who scored twice against Edmonton. "That was a playoff game for us. That was our playoff lives and we get to live again."

Who's hot:
 Anaheim’s forwards are on fire, with Selanne notching 6 goals in his last five games. Perry has 11 points in his current six-game points streak and Ryan Getzlaf has 12 points in his five-game streak. … For Calgary, Iginla has 9 points in his last seven games while Rene Bourque has 7 points in his last six games.

Injury report:
 With the return of Hiller last week, the Ducks are fielding a healthy lineup. … For Calgary, Niklas Hagman is questionable with a concussion while Daymond Langkow (neck), Raitis Ivanans (concussion), Adam Pardy (shoulder), Brendan Morrison (knee), Freddy Modin (back), and David Moss (ankle) are out.

Stat pack: 
Perry is making his case for the Hart Trophy this season. He leads the League with 44 goals and was named the League's second star for last week on Monday. He also ranks first in third-period goals and second among forwards in ice time (22:03 per game). He has 23 goals that have either tied the game or put the Ducks ahead. Those goals have come in 20 different games, in which the Ducks have gone 13-4-3.

Puck drop: This time last year, Selanne was considering retirement. This season, he has looked rejuvenated. His performance on Monday made him the first player aged 40 or over to have a three-goal, five-point performance. Coming into Tuesday's action, he ranked eighth in the League with 75 points, making him just the third player in history to register that many points at age 40.

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