Preview: Ducks vs Flames

Photo: Sergei Belski, USA Today

Photo: Sergei Belski, USA Today

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks(17-12-7) hit the road to face the Calgary Flames(19-6-2). The Ducks have played the Flames twice this season splitting the two contests.

Anaheim Outlook:

Sami Vatanen has been feeling sick and did not play in the last game. He is also not expected to play tonight. Brandon Montour was recalled yesterday and could make his NHL debut in this game. The Ducks are in third place in the Pacific Division with 41 points. Rickard Rakell is the scoring leader with 14 goals. Ryan Kesler has scored 12 goals. Jakob Silfverberg has 10 goals. Andrew Cogliano and Cam Fowler each have nine goals.

Keys To The Game

At yesterday’s practice, Randy Carlyle split up Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. The new line combinations are listed below from the practice. Splitting Getzlaf and Perry is a move that would send a message for the two to start producing more goals. Getzlaf acknowledged that he and Perry need to start producing more offensively. The Ducks team as a whole may need to score more tonight. The Flames blew up the Ducks in the last meeting 8-3. The defense is going to need to come to play tonight otherwise this game could turn into a shootout.

Anaheim’s Projected Lineup (Practice Report)

Nick Ritchie – Ryan Getzlaf – Ondrej Kase
Andrew CoglianoRyan KeslerJakob Silfverberg
Rickard RakellAntoine VermetteCorey Perry
Joseph Cramarossa – Logan Shaw – Jared Boll

Cam Fowler – Brandon Montour/Korbinian Holzer
Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson
Shea Theodore – Kevin Bieksa

In Net
John Gibson (Unconfirmed)

Flames Outlook

Calgary will be without Troy Brouwer who underwent surgery for a broken finger and is considered week-to-week. Mikael Backlund is expected to play despite leaving Tuesday’s game with an upper body injury. Calgary has won their last two games scoring 10 goals. They beat Vancouver 4-1 and Colorado 6-3. The Flames are 19-6-2 and are one point behind the Ducks in the Pacific Division. Sean Monahan leads the Flames with 10 goals. Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Backlund, and Sam Bennett each have nine goals.

Keys To The Game

The Flames like to score goals in bunches and will look to repeat their last performance against the Ducks. Calgary relies on their speed game and ability to counter punch with odd man rushes. Calgary can create scoring chances, but they do so at the risk of giving their opponents opportunities as well. The Flames average 2.65 goals for and 2.84 goals against per game. Their power play is ranked 14th with 19.2% efficiency and the penalty kill is ranked 18th with 81.3% efficiency.

Calgary’s Projected Lineup

Johnny Gaudreau – Sam Bennett – Alex Chiasson
Kris Versteeg – Sean Monahan – Micheal Ferland
Matthew Tkachuk – Mikael Backlund – Michael Frolik
Lance Bouma – Matt Stajan – Garnet Hathaway

Mark Giordano – Dougie Hamilton
T.J. Brodie – Dennis Wideman
Jyrki Jokipakka – Deryk Engelland

In Net
Brian Elliott (Probable)

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December 29, 2016