PREVIEW: Ducks Battle Flames

ducksflames

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks(7-10-4) return to Honda Center to face the Calgary Flames(8-12-1). Game starts at 7:00PM PST.

The Ducks will have an interesting stretch during this Thanksgiving week. After they play Calgary tonight, they then travel to Arizona for a game against the Coyotes tomorrow. The Ducks will finish the week Friday at home against Chicago in their annual Black Friday duel. The Ducks can really pick up ground in their division if they can win these next two games. The Ducks are 4 points out of a playoff spot and sit sandwiched between Arizona and Calgary in the standings.

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Keys To The Game:

Ducks:

1. Score First: The Ducks have played well when they score first and early. The first period has been the Ducks best period all season long. They just need to figure out how to carry that play over consistently for three periods, especially the dreaded 2nd period.

2. Emotion: This season there has been a noticeable difference when the Ducks get behind, especially by two goals. Last season they believed they were never out of a game and it showed with 24 come from behind wins. This season they seem to get frustrated too easily once down by a few scores.

Flames:

1. Defense: The Flames give up the most goals against per game at 3.52. If the Ducks are going to get the offense going, then the Flames are a team that they should be able to do it against.

2. Face-off: The Flames are tied for the second lowest face-off percentage at 48.3%. This is an area they need to improve on to help get more offensive chances and improve their special teams play.

Players To Watch:

Ducks

1. Corey Perry: He leads the team with 12 total points(5G + 7A), but he has been quiet in the last five games. He has just one goal and one assist during that stretch. The top line needs to get going on the offense again.

2. Shawn Horcoff: The newcomer to the Ducks has appeared to found a home on the third line with Hagelin and Cogliano. They have provided secondary scoring and a solid back-check as well. Horcoff has three goals and four assists on the season.

Flames

1. John GaudreauJohnny Hockey is leading the Flames with 20 total points(5G + 15A). He also leads the team with two game winning goals. He is a danger to make a play every shift on the ice.

2. Sean Monahan: He has benefited from playing with Gaudreau, as he is tied for the team lead in goals with seven. These two players can make life difficult for opponents.

Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup(Per NHL.com):

Yesterday we reported that John Gibson and Chris Mueller may be called up to Anaheim. Today the moves were made official by the Ducks. Michael Sgarbossa and Shane O’Brien were sent back to San Diego. Andersen is experiencing the flu and iit appears that Khudobin will get the start per Eric Stephens.

Lindholm skated this morning and Bruce Boudreau stated on periscope that he is in tonight.

Offense

Rickard Rakell   Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry

Nick Ritchie  Ryan Kesler  –  Jakob Silfverberg

Carl Hagelin  – Shawn Horcoff – Andrew Cogliano  

Patrick Maroon  Mike Santorelli – Chris Stewart 

Defense

Cam Fowler Kevin Bieksa

Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson

Clayton StonerSami Vatanen

Calgary Flames Projected Lineup (Per NHL.com):

Offense

John GaudreauSean MonahanMason Raymond

Sam BennettMikael BacklundMichael Frolik

Joe ColborneMatt StajanDavid Jones

Brandon BolligJosh JoorisMicheal Ferland

Defense

Mark GiordanoT.J. Brodie

Kris RussellDougie Hamilton

Deryk EngellandDennis Wideman

Starting Goalies:

Ducks:                     Anton Khudobin               3-3-1 GAA 2.43 SV% .917% (Confirmed)

Flames:                   Karri Ramo                        6-7-0 GAA 3.04 SV% .901% (Confirmed)

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