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Preview: Anaheim Ducks @ Calgary Flames 1/6/18 (41/82): A Win & The Wildcard Is In Plain Sight

And that’s a message for both teams. Anaheim has a chance to leap frog into the WC with a win, Calgary can creep closer with a win. This is a big one.

Calgary Flames v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Anaheim Ducks @ Calgary Flames, 8 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB

Where To Watch & Listen

BroadcastSchedule
BroadcastSchedule
TV: CBC, SN
Radio: Sportsnet 960

The Flames and Ducks will tangle for the second time in 2 weeks as Anaheim comes to the Saddledome for a Saturday night showdown. Calgary has a nice little winning streak going, but that hasn’t made Glen Gulutzan very happy. The Flames took down the Blakchawks in OT and then roared back with 4 goals after being down 2-0 to the Kings and won 4-3. At practice on Friday Glen Gulutzan flipped his lid as if the Flames had lost 10 straight, hoping to motivate the Flames. Calgary hasn’t played their best hockey lately even though they’ve taken down two of the better teams in the West in a row. Calgary makes mental mistakes and Mike Smith has allowed some soft goals that make these games closer than they really need to be. This game is the mathematical halfway point of the season for Calgary and it’s now time to ramp it up or get ready to golf all spring and summer.

The Ducks, well, they just like beating the Flames. After finally losing at Honda Center to the Flames the Ducks welcomed Calgary back to Anaheim.....and beat them 2-1. After a quick 3 game losing skid in mid December Anaheim has gone 5-1-1 to climb into 9th place in the West, circling the WC like a shark smelling blood in the water. Anaheim is also getting healthy at the right time as a lot of their injuries from earlier in the season are starting to heal up. John Gibson was having a tough time of it, but he’s 3-1-1 in his last 5 starts.

The Ducks sit just outside the final WC spot behind Dallas, who is barely hanging on to the 8th spot. Calgary meanwhile is just on the outskirts of the WC picture right now, but a win over Anaheim would get them within one point and put the Flames within striking distance. These teams hate each other, so this should be a VERY entertaining contest. The main focus for the Flames should be to win and win in regulation as Anaheim has 9 points this season from just getting to OT or a SO. Those 9 points are tied for the most in the NHL with bottom dwelling Buffalo and Ottawa.

How They Match Up

Calgary Flames Stats Anaheim Ducks
Calgary Flames Stats Anaheim Ducks
20-16-4 Record 19-14-9
44 Points 47
5th Pacific Division 4th Pacific
12th West Conference 9th West
2-2-1 Last 5 3-1-1
110 Goals For 113
114 Goals Against 112
Monahan (19) Goals Rakell (15)
Gaudreau (45) Points Rakell (31)
Brouwer (44) PIM Bieksa (51)
Rittich (.924) Save% Miller (.935)
18.1 (20th) PP% 17.4 (21st)
78.3 (25th) PK% 83.3 (9th)
1-1-0 2017-18 VS 1-1-0
43-69-7 Overall VS 69-43-7

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)

Player Record GAA Save%
Player Record GAA Save%
Flames: Smith (E) 16-13-3 2.58 .920
Ducks: Gibson (E) 13-12-5 2.63 .924

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 4 LA Kings 3

The Flames fell behind the Kings 2-0 on Thursday night and came roaring back to score 4 straight and take down the LA Kings 4-3. Micheal Ferland got the party started with his career high 16th goal and Sean Monahan finished it off with another GWG as Calgary got 2 huge points in the Western Conference. Here’s our recap and the highlights from NHL.com

Anaheim Ducks 1 Edmonton Oilers 2 (SO)

It’s like kissing your sister. You don’t like either team, but you have to root for the Oilers to win so you can creep closer to the Ducks. Well, Edmonton did you a “favour” and beat Anaheim in a shootout 2-1. Anaheim Calling has the recap and NHL.com provides the highlights.

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

Chicago Blackhawks v Calgary Flames Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

Mark Jankowski (C). Janko had a crazy goal in the Flames 4-3 win over the Kings were he, in effect, jumped and bunted the puck into the net past Jonathan Quick. Jankowski and that 3rd line had only had a few “meh” games as they provide energy and offence to a bottom 6 that desperately needed it. He’s been in a little slump as of late, scoring only 2 times in his last 14, but the way he crashes the net and hustles back to play defence, he’s due for a little streak sooner than later.

Anaheim Ducks

Arizona Coyotes v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images

Rickard Rakell (C). His name screams “goal scorer” and that’s what he’s done this season. Rakell leads the Ducks in goals and points this season and his last 5 games have been outstanding. The Swedish product has 5 goals and 2 assists over that time span, including a very efficient 15 shots on net. In 2 games against the Flames this season Rakell has a goal and an assist.