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Preview Game 3: Calgary Flames vs Anaheim Ducks

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The Flames are on home ice with their backs against the wall as they take on the Ducks, down 2-0 in the best of seven series.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Calgary Flames vs Anaheim Ducks, 8 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB
Broadcast Schedule
TV: NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports
Radio: Sportsnet 960

Well, it’s pretty much do or die for the Flames tonight as they take on the Ducks at the Dome. Calgary finds themselves in 2-0 hole which seems insurmountable on paper, yet the Flames haven’t played poorly in this series by any stretch of the imagination. Calgary outplayed Anaheim for most of Game 2, but 2 bad penalties and an unlucky bounce in the 3rd period put the Flames behind for good.

Everyone knows of the Flames record in Anaheim, but the Dome wasn’t exactly home sweet home either for Calgary against Anaheim this season. Calgary was 1-2 at home, with their one win being a 8-3 dismantling of Anaheim back on December 4th.

This is a must win game for the Flames as going into game 4 down 3-0 isn’t the best scenario for Calgary.

Here’s our recap of Game 2 and the highlights from NHL.com.

Projected Lines

Calgary Flames
Forwards
Johnny Gaudreau-SeanMonahan-Micheal Ferland
Michael Frolik-Mikael Backlund-Matthew Tkachuk
Kris Versteeg-Sam Bennett-Alex Chiasson
Troy Brouwer-Matt Stajan-Lance Bouma
Defence
Mark Giordano-Dougie Hamilton
T.J. Brodie-Michael Stone
Deryk Engelland-Matt Bartkowski
Goalies
Brian Elliott (S)
Chad Johnson
Anaheim Ducks
Forwards
Rickard Rakell-Ryan Getzlaf-Patrick Eaves
Andrew Cogliano-Ryan Kesler-Jakob Silfverberg
Ondrej-Antoine Vermette-Corey Perry
Chris Wagner-Nate Thompson-Logan Shaw
Defence
Sami Vatanen-Josh Manson
Hampus Lindholm-Brandon Montour
Shea Theadore-Kevin Bieksa
Goalies
John Gibson (S)
Jonathan Bernier

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Elliott (G). The Flames need Elliott to steal them a game and tonight would be a great start. Elliott has started slow in both games and once he’s settled in, he’s been lights out. If he can come up big early in this contest and keep the soft goals to a minimum, the Flames will be in good shape.

Anaheim Ducks

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Getzlaf (C). Once again it’s the Ducks captain. Getzlaf had another 2 point night with a goal and an assist in Game 2, with his goal being the game winner that deflected off Lance Bouma. That’s 4 points in 2 games and he’s having his way with the Flames. He also won 12 of the 14 face offs he took during the game.

Flames Keys To Victory

-Fast Start: The Flames need to score first and control the pace.

-Brian Elliott Start Strong: Elliott gave up two soft goals to start Saturday night and if the Flames are going to get a win he needs to be strong from start to finish.

-Penalties, Penalties, Penalties. While Calgary was more disciplined in Game 2, Dougie Hamilton’s holding the stick penalty led directly to Anaheim’s GWG and T.J. Brodie took a stupid cross checking penalty when the Flames were trying to tie.

Conclusion

Calgary is in a hole and they can use the shovel to dig themselves out or keep digging the hole deeper. The Flames aren’t as far off from tying this series as it seems, but the mental mistakes they keep making are killing them on the ice. Yes, the disallowed goal was a back breaker (it’s fine if you’re into blaming the officials, you can’t let it get to that point), but if you’re a true Cup contender you need to power through those difficulties. Once again the Flames will have to be perfect to get a W and they’ve been close, but allowing Anaheim any wiggle room will spell doom for the Flames.