Game Day: Anaheim Ducks at Calgary Flames

 

Keep your eyes on Backlund and Selanne

 
 
 
 
Calgary’s Mikael Backlund was solid early in Sunday’s home opener. Can he carry the momentum into Monday’s follow-up match against Anaheim?
 

Calgary’s Mikael Backlund was solid early in Sunday’s home opener. Can he carry the momentum into Monday’s follow-up match against Anaheim?

Photograph by: Leah Hennel, Calgary Herald

Anaheim Ducks (1-0-0) at Calgary Flames (0-1-0)

7 p.m. Scotiabank Saddledome (SN960 Radio, Sportsnet-West)

Flames player to watch

C Mikael Backlund: Showed flashes in the season-opener with perhaps his best period as a Flame (the first.) The next challenge (and he’s far from alone on this one) converting on his chances.

Calgary Lines

*C. Glencross A.Tanguay J.Iginla

* S.Baertschi M.Backlund M.Cammalleri

* R.Horak M.Stajan L.Stempniak

* B.Comeau-S.Begin-T.Jackman

The Pairings

* M.Giordano J.Bouwmeester

* C. Butler D. Wideman

* D. Smith C.Sarich

The Goalies

* M.Kiprusoff

* L.Irving

The Injuries

C Roman Cervenka(blood clot), D Anton Babchuk (shoulder), LW Jiri Hudler (bereavement)

Ducks player to watch

RW Teemu Selanne: Who else? At 42, Selanne once again inspired the middle-aged couch-potato set Saturday with two goals and two assists in the season-opener against Vancouver. That makes the Finnish flash the second oldest player in NHL history (other than Gordie Howe) to record a four-point night.

Ducks Lines

* K.Palmieri R.Getalaf C.Perry

* B.Ryan N.Bonino T.Selanne

* D.Winnik S.Koivu A.Cogliano

* M.Beleskey R.Rakell D.Smith-Pelly

Ducks Pairings

* B.Allen C.Fowler

* S.Souray L.Sbisa

*T. Lydman F.Beauchemin

Ducks Goalies

* J.Hiller

* F.Andersen

The Injuries

D Sami Vatanen (foot)

Five things to watch:

1.Goals, please: Stop us if you’ve heard this before. The Flames pepper an opposing goalie with all kinds of shots in the first period, but only manage to convert on one of many glorious opportunities. From there, they watch the game fritter away before their eyes. The familiar script played out all over again Sunday against San Jose. Can the Flames rediscover their touch in time for tonight’s clash with the Ducks?

2. Now playing: farewell tour for senior Ducks? Yeah, we know. We say this every year. But one of these days, age just has to catch up to Teemu Selanne (42) and Saku Koivu (38), right? Regardless, savour a glimpse of two of the best old guys in the game.

3. A farewell tour of a different kind: Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are the joint faces of the franchise in Anaheim. Hard to believe both could fly the coop this summer as free agents. According to Perry, the subject is off limits once the Ducks return home to California after tonight’s game in Calgary. “It’s going to be tough the rest of the season until something gets done, or if it doesn’t get done, to wait,” Perry told nhl.com in Vancouver. “It’s going to be talked about the whole time, but I’m not thinking about it. It’s going to be over and done with after this, I’m not going to talk about it anymore. We’ll just see what happens going forward.” Perry won the Hart Trophy in 2010/11 as he amassed 50 goals and 98 points. Getzlaf is coming off a shaky season by his standards (57 points) but is still considered one of the premier first-line centres in the game.

4. Cue the bodychecks: The Flames are small. We get that. GM Jay Feaster is still searching for that elusive “sandpaper” to add to his lineup. But in the meantime, the Flames simply can’t allow the opposition to win the battle when it comes to delivering bodychecks. They did just that, with predictable results, Sunday against the Sharks with San Jose out-hitting the Flames 22-16.

5. Beware the Anaheim power-play: The Ducks embarrassed the Vancouver Canucks to the tune of 7-3 Saturday night on the Wet Coast, and they did it largely on the strength of three goals with the man advantage (on four opportunities.) With Sheldon Souray standing at the point with his cannon of a shot, the Ducks can make teams pay for needless trips to the penalty box.

Compiled by Vicki Hall

 
 
 
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Calgary’s Mikael Backlund was solid early in Sunday’s home opener. Can he carry the momentum into Monday’s follow-up match against Anaheim?
 

Calgary’s Mikael Backlund was solid early in Sunday’s home opener. Can he carry the momentum into Monday’s follow-up match against Anaheim?

Photograph by: Leah Hennel, Calgary Herald

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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