Game Preview: Flames vs Anaheim Ducks

CALGARY FLAMES (0-1-0 0 points) vs. ANAHEIM DUCKS (1-0-0 2 points) GAME 2

 

PREVIEW:

The Flames are right back at it tonight with the Anaheim Ducks in town as the Flames finish off rare back-to-back home games to open their shortened 2013 season. The Flames will look for their first win of the season after a disappointing 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks last night at the Dome. The Ducks on the other hand come into Calgary after a great start in Vancouver, beating the Canucks 7-3 to add to the Canucks never ending goaltending questions. This will be the first of three meetings between the teams this season.

The Flames came out on fire in the opening twenty minutes last night against the Sharks only to sit back for the final 40 minutes, falling to the Sharks 4-1. It was a very similar effort to what Flames fans have come accustomed to these last couple of seasons. Inconsistent, uninspired was the best way to describe the Flames last night as they once again struggled to score goals and looked confused on the power play.  Lucky for the Flames it’s only game one of forty-eight and with no pre-season to work out the wrinkles, the Flames can move themselves back in the right direction with a victory tonight. Jiri Hudler will miss his second game of the season as he returned to the Czech Republic to attend his father’s funeral. Blair Jones and T-J Brodie are expected to draw into the line-up tonight with Steve Begin and either Derek Smith or Cory Sarich coming out on the backend.

Things got off on the right foot for the Ducks on Saturday night as they took advantage of a shaky Corey Schneider to beat the Canucks 7-3. The biggest story that came from the game was the legendary Teemu Selanne who continues to defy age. Selanne became the oldest player (42 years old and 200 days) to record 4 points in a single game. With the 4 points, Selanne also moved past Dale Hawerchuk into 18th spot in all-time scoring with 1,410 points.

It’s an important season in Anaheim as both Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have entered this season without contracts for next year. Rumors have swirled whether the duo will stay in Anaheim but with both coming off disappointing seasons and being in a contract year, the Flames are sure to have their hands full.

Miikka Kiprusoff will get the start for the Flames while the Ducks will counter with Jonas Hiller between the pipes.

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                        Ducks:

1- GLENCROSS-TANGUAY-IGINLA                           1- PALMIERI-GETZLAF-PERRY

2- BAERTSCHI-BACKLUND-CAMMALLERI               2- RYAN-BONINO-SELANNE

3- HORAK-STAJAN-STEMPNIAK                               3- COGLIANO-KOIVU-WINNIK

4- COMEAU-JONES-JACKMAN                                 4- BELESKEY-RAKELL-SMITH-PELLEY

 

1- BOUWMEESTER-GIORDANO                               1- ALLEN-FOWLER

2- WIDEMAN-BUTLER                                               2- SOURAY-SBISA

3- SARICH-BRODIE                                                   3- BEAUCHEMIN-LYDMAN

 

1- KIPRUSOFF                                                            1- HILLER

2- IRVING                                                                    2- FASTH

EXTRA- BEGIN, SMITH                                               EXTRA- HOLLAND, STAUBITZ

 

INJURIES:

Flames: D- Anton Babchuk (Shoulder- out indefinitely), C- Roman Cervenka (Blood clot- out indefinitely), RW- Jiri Hudler (Bereavement List)

Ducks: D- Sami Vatanen (Foot- IR)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

L. Stempniak

1

1

0

1

-1

M. Backlund

1

0

1

1

E

J. Bouwmeester

1

0

1

1

-1

S. Baertschi

1

0

0

0

E

C. Butler

1

0

0

0

-1

 

Ducks

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

T. Selanne

1

2

2

4

1

D. Winnik

1

2

0

2

2

S. Souray

1

1

1

2

1

A. Cogliano

1

0

2

2

2

R. Getzlaf

1

0

2

2

E

 

PP-

Flames: 33.3% (11th)

Ducks: 100.0% (1st)

 

PK-

Flames: 66.7% (20th)

Ducks: 50.0% (24th)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

1. CHICAGO

2

2

0

0

4

2. MINNESOTA

2

2

0

0

4

3. ANAHEIM

1

1

0

0

2

4. ST. LOUIS

1

1

0

0

2

5. SAN JOSE

1

1

0

0

2

6. COLUMBUS

1

1

0

0

2

7. EDMONTON

1

1

0

0

2

8. DALLAS

2

1

1

0

2

 

9. NASHVILLE

1

0

0

1

1

10. VANCOUVER

1

0

0

1

1

11. COLORADO

1

0

1

0

0

12. LOS ANGELES

1

0

1

0

0

13. CALGARY

1

0

1

0

0

14. DETROIT

1

0

1

0

0

15. PHOENIX

2

0

2

0

0

 

MY TAKE:

Back-to-back’s are never easy but having them both on home ice and coming off a lackluster loss, the best thing for the Flames is to get right back at it. Saying that if the Flames come out and play like they did last night, there is no doubt the Flames will be sitting at 0-2-0 to start the season.

I liked how the Flames came out of the gate, lots of energy and they threw everything on net. For a team that struggles to score and without Hudler and Roman Cervenka in the line-up, the more shots you take, the more successful you will be. It’s a cliché but being undersized and weak down the middle, the Flames need to put pucks on net.

Even though he took two penalties, including one in the final two minutes, I thought Sven Baertschi was the Flames best player. His hockey smarts and creativity are elite and it’s only a matter of time before he starts putting up big time points.

The Flames veterans have to be better, especially Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay and Mike Cammalleri. Iginla and Tanguay had a few chances that they could not finish on, while Cammalleri was invisible for the most of the game.

The Flames special teams will also have to be better, with emphasis on the penalty kill as the Ducks went 3 for 3 on their power play on Saturday night. It’s no secret fans and media enjoyed the way the Flames played in the first period last night and they will have to carry it over for a full sixty minutes to be successful tonight.

 

 

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