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Preview: Calgary Flames vs Anaheim Ducks 12/29/16 (38/82)

Calgary is looking for back to back wins against the Ducks at home on Thursday night.

Calgary Flames v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Calgary Flames vs Anaheim Ducks, 7 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary Alberta
Broadcast Schedule
tv: Prime LA
Radio: Sportsnet 960

The Flames and Ducks will tangle for the 3rd time this season with each getting a win in their home building. The last time these two laced them up the Flames took out some frustrations on the Ducks and hammered them 8-3 at the Saddledome. That win put Calgary at an even .500 (5-5-0) at home against the Ducks in their last 10 meetings. Since then the Flames have gone 6-3-0 and have made their move to gain and hold on to a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Flames have won 3 of their last 4 and are doing it with special teams. The Flames have a PP goal in 10 of their last 11 (3 against Arizona) and have killed off a herculean 18 straight penalties (including a 6 for 6 against the Avs) since last giving up a short handed goal on December 16th.

The Ducks are having a rather odd season. The wins and losses aren’t so much the issues as is the 7 OT losses the Ducks have incurred. Two of those 7 have come in their last 2 games as they’ve dropped games to Ottawa and San Jose. Anaheim has had 4 games go past regulation this month and 3 have resulted in losses. The Ducks and Flames are looking like mirror images of each other so far and the stats below will echo that sentiment. Where they have differed is on the PK this month. While the Flames have shut the door 18 straight times, Anaheim has given up 8 goals when down a man in 13 games.

This is a big game for both teams and it could give the Flames the jump on Anaheim or a Ducks win could give them a little breathing room in the Western Conference. These two won’t see each other again until April when they play a home and home on the 2nd and 4th of the month. Here’s how the teams match-up:

Calgary Flames Anaheim Ducks
19-16-2 Record 17-12-7
40 Points 41
4th Pacific Division 3rd Pacific
7th West Conference 6th West
3-2-0 Last 5 1-2-2
98 Goals For 97
105 Goals Against 101
Monahan (10) Goals Rakell (14)
Gaudreau (25) Points Kesler (29)
Johnson (.922) Save % Gibson (.906)
19.2 (14th) PP % 24.1 (2nd)
81.3 (17th) PK % 80.8 (20th)
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed) Record GAA Save %
Flames: Johnson (E) 13-7-1 2.30 .922
Ducks: Gibson (E) 11-9-6 2.63 .906

Calgary Flames 6 Colorado Avalanche 3

The Flames last hit the ice on Tuesday night and played one of their more bizarre games of the season. The Flames put 6 on the scoreboard, but only 2 actually went in off Flames sticks. The other 4 goals scored all went off of Colorado players and the Flames put this game out of reach in the second period. Here’s our recap, highlights, Glen Gulutzan’s post game and stats from the contest.

Flames Stats vs Avs 12/27/16
Goals Shots Shots Allowed Hits PIM FOW Giveaways Takeaways PP PK
6 31 28 26 12 21/56 2 11 1/3 6/6

Anaheim Ducks 2 San Jose Sharks 3 (OT)

The Ducks just can’t seem to win in OT and that trend continued as they dropped another extra frame session to the Sharks 3-2 on Tuesday night. This was Anaheim’s 3rd straight loss as John Gibson gave up 3 goals on 25 shots. Here’s the highlights:

Players to Watch

Calgary Flames v San Jose Sharks Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Calgary Flames: Mikael Backlund (C). Backlund had himself a 3 point night against the Avs, which was his second straight multi point game in a row (3 against Vancouver). Backlund is heating up and looks like the player that started the season on a tear. He’s got 7 points in his last 5 and has 12 points in 11 games this month. If the Flames are going to get themselves to the playoffs, Mikael Backlund needs to keep playing like he has in December. Backlund picked up an assist in Calgary’s 8-3 pasting of the Ducks back on December 4th.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Anaheim Ducks: Ryan Kesler (C). Kesler has always been a Flames killer and this season is no exception. In 2 games against the Flames he has 4 goals, including 2 in their last meeting. Kelser leads the team in points with 29 and has 11 points in the month of December.