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Preview: Calgary Flames @ Anaheim Ducks 12/29/17 (38/82): No More Curse Talk

The Flames can confidently (ish) stroll into Anaheim tonight to try and make a push back into a WC spot.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames @ Anaheim Ducks, 8 PM MT, Honda Center, Anaheim CA

Where To Watch & Listen

BroadcastSchedule
BroadcastSchedule
TV: SNW
Radio: Sportsnet 960

The Flames will try to get a full 2 points tonight as they head to Anaheim to take on the Ducks at Honda Center where Calgary has lost.....WAIT, I NEVER HAVE TO TYPE THAT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! The Flames last visit to Anaheim was a 2-0 win over the Ducks, which put to rest all the talk of that obnoxious “Anaheim Curse.” Back to the current Flames. Calgary is offensively challenged and it’s hurting them. The Flames had all the jump early on against San Jose, but blew a 2-1 lead and lost in a shoot out 3-2. That game was symptomatic of the Flames as of late. In their last 6 losses the Flames have only scored 10 goals and they’ve been shut out once and lost 3 times in a shoot out. In their only 4 wins of the month they’ve scored 15 goals, but that number is inflated due to the 6 they hung on Vancouver.

The Ducks meanwhile have struggled as well this month. Anaheim has only won 5 times in December and they’ve been to OT or a shoot out 5 times as well. The Duck have lost 4 of their last 6 and surrendered 20 goals over that span. While not as bad as the Flames, Anaheim can’t gain a lot of traction on home ice either. They currently find themselves at 8-8-3 at Honda Center and 5-7-6 where it really counts, in the Western Conference.

Neither team is setting the world on fire and they are fairly matched as they jockey for the final WC spot in the West. They each have 40 points, they are almost identical in goal differential and they stink on home ice, so this sets up as a fairly even contest. You know the record is bad in Anaheim for Calgary, but the Flames can forget that nonsense seeing they got that monkey off their back on October 9th.

Tale Of The Tape

Calgary Flames Stats Anaheim Ducks
Calgary Flames Stats Anaheim Ducks
18-15-4 Record 16-14-8
40 Points 40
4th Pacific Division 5th Pacific
9th West Conference 10th West
2-2-1 Last 5 2-3-0
101 Goals For 100
106 Goals Against 108
Monahan (17) Goals Rakell (11)
Gaudreau (41) Points Rakell (25)
Brouwer (44) PIM Bieksa (55)
Rittich (.924) Save% Miller (.928)
17.8 (20th) PP% 17.5 (21st)
77.3 (27th) PK% 82.8 (9th)
1-0-0 2017-18 VS 0-1-0
43-68-7 Overall VS 68-43-7

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)

Player Record GAA Save%
Player Record GAA Save%
Flames: Smith (E) 14-12-3 2.57 .919
Ducks: Gibson (E) 11-12-4 2.78 .921

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 2 San Jose Sharks 3 (SO)

The Flames once again had a hard time putting the puck in the net and the squandered a 3rd period lead for the first time in forever, losing to the Sharks in a shoot out. David Rittich was extremely solid in net, but the folks in front of him did him no favors as he saw his 2 game winning streak snapped. Here’s our recap and the highlights from NHL.com

Anaheim Ducks 1 Vegas Golden Knights 4

The Ducks are struggling and the Golden Knights took full advantage. Vegas scored 4 unanswered goals en route to a 4-1 pummeling of the Anaheim Ducks. John Gibson got the start and gave up 4 goals on 28 shots in the loss. Anaheim Calling has the recap and NHL.com provides the highlights.

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: Calgary Flames at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Garnet Hathaway (F). These are the games that Garnet Hathaway should flourish in on many levels. The Ducks are a team that likes to play in the gutter and Hathaway is skilled in that area too. What the Ducks haven’t seen from Hathaway is that he’s a legit offensive threat. Hathaway and that Flames 3rd line has been surging and between the gritty aspects of his game and his new knack for collecting points he should do well against the Ducks.

Anaheim Ducks

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Anaheim Ducks at Nashville Predators Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Kesler (C). Kesler is back from injury just in time to face his favorite whipping boys in the Calgary Flames. Whether it’s been in Vancouver or Anaheim, Kesler has feasted on his division rivals. In his last 10 games against the Flames he has 18 points. Yes, you read that correctly. 18 points in 10 games, with 8 of those points being goals. Kesler has only played in one game this season due to injury, but if history is any indicator he could be in for a big night.