Game Day: Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks

 

Keep your eyes on Chris Butler and Ryan Getzlaf

 
 
 
 
Flames defenceman Chris Butler ties up Shark Ryane Clowe in front of the net in the second period on Wednesday night.
 

Flames defenceman Chris Butler ties up Shark Ryane Clowe in front of the net in the second period on Wednesday night.

Photograph by: Lorraine Hjalte, Calgary Herald

Calgary Flames (9-8-4) at Anaheim Ducks (16-3-3)

8:30 p.m., Honda Center

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: FAN 960

THE FLAMES

Keep Your Eye On

Chris Butler — Mobile defender is plus-seven in his past six dates. Set up game-winner Wednesday. Looks comfortable working alongside Dennis Wideman.

The Lines

* Tanguay Cammalleri Comeau

* Hudler Cervenka Iginla

* Glencross Stajan Stempniak

* McGrattan Begin Jackman

The Pairings

* Giordano Bouwmeester

* Butler Wideman

* Brodie Smith

The Goalies

* Kiprusoff

* MacDonald

The Injuries

* C Mikael Backlund (knee), C Paul Byron (hand)

THE DUCKS

Keep Your Eye On

Ryan Getzlaf — Fresh off a two-point night (in a 2-0 win), former Hitmen star is seventh in league scoring. Also, 29 points in 27 dates against Calgary.

The Lines

* Ryan Getzlaf Perry

* Beleskey Bonino Selanne

* Winnik Koivu Cogliano

* Holland McMillan Etem

The Pairings

* Souray Beauchemin

* Fowler Allen

* Lydman Lovejoy

The Goalies

* Hiller

* Fasth

The Injuries

* RW Kyle Palmieri (upper body)

5 THINGS TO WATCH

1. HOT DUCKS — Anaheim has constructed a formidable 16-3-3 log, the best 22-game start in franchise history. During the Ducks’ championship season, 2006-07, they had been 15-2-5 out of the gates. Amazingly, they are still 10 points back of the 21-0-3 Chicago Blackhawks. “It’s a pretty amazing feat, and (the Blackhawks) deserve a lot of credit,” C Ryan Getzlaf told reporters after the Ducks’ 2-0 win Wednesday over the Phoenix Coyotes. “They’re playing great and doing things the right way, but at the same time, we just worry about ourselves and keep pushing forward.”

The Ducks won 11 straight home games during the 2009-10 season. With victories Friday over the Flames and Sunday over the St. Louis Blues, they can equal that team mark.

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2. QUACKER PRIMER — The Ducks, possessors of the circuit’s best power play, are led by the usual suspects. Reunited recently is the first line of LW Bobby Ryan, C Ryan Getzlaf, RW Corey Perry. Meaning the well-seasoned likes of RW Teemu Selanne and C Saku Koivu can come at you in secondary waves. And while size/sandpaper is apparently tough to come by, Anaheim, in the off-season, managed to add free agents D Sheldon Souray, D Bryan (Bad News) Allen, LW Daniel Winnik, RW Brad Staubitz. Another summertime signing, Swedish backup goalie Viktor Fasth, is 9-1-2 (2.08 GAA, .922).

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3. CAPTAIN HEATING UP — RW Jarome Iginla, after an early patch of indifference, is starting to pile up points, nine in his past seven dates. In that spree are six goals, including a game-winner Sunday. Which makes it a good time to update his production portfolio. With 1,091 points, Iginla is 59th on the NHL charts, one slot above Theoren Fleury. His 523 goals put him 33rd, one behind Bryan Trottier. The 1,209 games stake him 89th, just behind Claude Lemieux.

The league didn’t track game-winning goals prior to the 1970s, but Iginla’s 82 ties him with Mike Bossy for 20th place.

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4. ROOKIE BLUES — When RW Blake Comeau was handed an in-game promotion Wednesday, it was LW Sven Baertschi who got stapled to the bench for the third period. The kid had been good against Colorado and Vancouver, but much quieter against San Jose. Which may not be great timing for Baertschi, with C Mikael Backlund (knee) on the verge of returning. The Flames are at the roster maximum of 23 players, meaning one healthy body must be re-assigned when Backlund is cleared for game action.

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5. INS, OUTS, WHAT-HAVE-YOUS — G Miikka Kiprusoff starts Friday as Calgary hunts for three consecutive wins for the first time this season . . . It’ll be an interesting night at the faceoff dot. Neither team is very good. Anaheim, at 47.3 per cent, is 25th. Calgary is worse . . . The Flames are third in the league with four empty-net goals (only Pittsburgh and Carolina have collected more) . . . Anaheim D Francois Beauchemin and D Sheldon Souray are tied for 10th in the NHL, with plus-10 ratings . . . Calgary and Anaheim are two of nine teams to not have allowed a shorthanded goal . . . Only Edmonton, with four, has been involved in fewer fights than Calgary. Toronto, with 24, is the league’s scrappiest bunch.

 
 
 
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Flames defenceman Chris Butler ties up Shark Ryane Clowe in front of the net in the second period on Wednesday night.
 

Flames defenceman Chris Butler ties up Shark Ryane Clowe in front of the net in the second period on Wednesday night.

Photograph by: Lorraine Hjalte, Calgary Herald

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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