Calgary Flames vs Anaheim Ducks, 7:00 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB
Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames 37-16-7 (81 pts) - Anaheim Ducks 24-27-9 (57 pts)
The Flames will close out their three game home stand with a visit from the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night. Calgary has won three in a row and they have points in six of their last eight games.
Mike Smith and the bottom six have been the story for the Flames as they’ve righted the ship after a four game losing streak. Smith seems to have found his groove again, winning three in a row and getting the Flames points in four straight starts. The bottom six has provided the Flames with some sorely needed depth scoring as the Flames top two lines went through a minor slump. Austin Czarnik has goals in three straight, Derek Ryan has four points in his last three games and Sam Bennett has two points in his last three. The resurgence of these six players has been huge for the Flames and allowed the top lines to start to get back into the swing of things.
Admit it: watching the Ducks stink is awesome. Ok, maybe we’re supposed to be unbiased here, but after the beatings the Flames have taken from the Ducks over the years it’s nice to see Anaheim playing like total garbage. The Ducks sit in 6th place in the Pacific Division, 24 points behind the front running Flames. The Ducks have won three of their last four, but it hasn’t always been so peachy keen for Anaheim. Prior to this run of success Anaheim had two losing streaks: one of seven games and the other of twelve. Add it all up and the Ducks are 5-16-4 over their last 25 games.
Now, the Ducks always seem to be able to get under the Flames skin and get them to play down in the gutter with them and usually the Ducks prevail. Case in point, the Flames are 5-9-0 in their last 14 games against the Ducks at the Saddledome. But this is a different team and a different season. The Ducks and Flames last met back on November 7th when Anaheim was a respectable 7-7-3 and they defeated the Flames 3-2 at Honda Center. Since then Anaheim has gone 17-20-3, while the Flames have taken off and gone 28-10-6 since losing to the Ducks. So talk all the history you want, but both team are in different places right now and this should still be a VERY entertaining game.
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Flames: Smith (E)- 17-11-2, 3.02 GAA, .892 Save%
Ducks: Miller (E)- 6-2-1, 2.39 GAA, .929 Save%
Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (30), Points- Gaudreau (79), PIM- Bennett (81), Save%- Rittich (.911)
Ducks: Goals- Silfverberg (16), Points- Getzlaf (39), PIM- Ritchie (50), Save%- Miller(.929)
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Anaheim Ducks Coverage: Anaheim Calling
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 4 - NY Islanders 2
Anaheim Ducks 4 - Minnesota Wild 0
Players To Watch
Austin Czarnik (C): 5G - 4A, 3 goals in last 3 games
Ryan Getzlaf (C): 11G - 28A, 5 assists in last 5 games