By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks took the first two games each by a final score of 3-2. Tonight they face Flames in Calgary for Game 3.
Anaheim took a 2-0 series lead after beating the Flames again by a score of 3-2. Like Game 1, the Ducks came out and played well in the first period. In both games, however, the Ducks didn’t play as well in the second period. The Ducks were able to pull another win by one goal. The Ducks got Nick Ritchie back in Game 2, but they were without Sami Vatanen, who had an upper-body injury.
At practice today, Vatanen was on the ice and skated with Clayton Stoner. According to Randy Carlyle, it’s up to Vatanen if he feels he is ready to go tonight. Cam Fowler was also seen skating today. Carlyle said, “We think he’s on pace to be available to us sometime here shortly.” Fowler said, “My goal is to return as quick as possible without putting the team or myself in jeopardy.”
Keys To The Game
The Ducks are up two games to none, but they need to clean up their play in the second period. In both games, the Flames have a 3-2 scoring edge in the middle frame, but if not for the play of John Gibson it could have been worse. The Ducks are outscoring the Flames 4-1 in the first and third periods. Ryan Getzlaf continues to be a key for the Ducks in the playoffs as he factored in all three goals in Game 2 including getting the game-winner. Corey Perry hasn’t registered a point in the first two games and if he can get going, then these games might not be as close as they have been.
Anaheim Projected Lineup
John Gibson (Probable
The Flames have lost the first two games, but could easy be tied or up 2-0 in this series. In Game 1, a terrible line change in the second period allowed the Ducks to tie the game and change the momentum in Anaheim’s favor. In Game 2, a late bounce on a Getzlaf goal proven to be the difference despite the Flames playing well from the second period on.
Keys To The Game
The Flame can’t afford to get down 2-0 again at home. They were able to rally in Game 2, but if they can score first and get their crowd going then it will put pressure on the Ducks. They need to find a way to slow down Getzlaf, who has four points in two games so far. They will have the last line change so they can look for the matchups to help them get back into this series. The Flames also need to improve in the face-off circle, as the Ducks have dominated in that area in the first two games.
Calgary Projected Lineup
Brian Elliott (Probable)
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April 17th, 2017