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Flames vs. Ducks Preview

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Division rivals Anaheim Ducks have secured a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The 26th-place Flames will play them for the final time tonight. Seven more goals?

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The Ducks and the Flames have met three times this season; Anaheim won the first two, but the Flames thrashed them in the third game 7-2, and the Ducks are going to want to avenge themselves. They'll also be making a huge push for the divisionthey're only four points behind the San Jose Sharks with three games in hand, and they're looking at a comparatively soft schedule, playing the Flames, Canucks, Oilers, and Jets.

The Flames have been playing some of their best hockey of the season lately, fueled in part by Mike Cammalleri's post-trade-deadline (ugh) resurgencetaking the Sharks to the shootout was unexpected enough, let alone winning itso this one won't be as easy as the Ducks had hoped.

At this point it is definitely more beneficial for the Flames to lose, as we're looking ahead to draft order, but obviously putting up a good fight against a better divisional rival bodes well for the future; the ideal situation is probably a one-goal loss, but I can't say I'd be disappointed to see the Flames lay another 7-2 beatdown, especially after the Edmonton game on Saturday, which we will never, ever stop talking about.

Notes

The Flames have an insane, league-leading 12 shorthanded goals. Twelve. That's one every six games. I haven't really got anything useful to say about that (Anaheim's about the middle of the pack in terms of powerplays, Calgary's near the bottom, both teams are middling in penalty kills) but the Ducks will have to take care not to get too lazy even with a man advantage.

Anaheim will be without Cam Fowler and Patrick Maroon, while Calgary continues to play without Dennis Wideman, David Jones and Markus Granlund.

Puck drops at 8:00 PM MT on TSN! Check out Anaheim Calling for more on the Ducks and be sure to read Kevin's questions with AC's Kid Ish.