Ducks, Flames clash in Anaheim

Even with their outstanding run since the beginning of January, the Ducks can't afford to let up down the stretch. A home meeting with the Flames could result in a big two points.

Anaheim tries to avoid losing three straight for the first time in two months as it battles Calgary, one of the teams ahead of it in the Western Conference playoff picture.

The Ducks last lost three straight from Dec. 29-Jan. 4, but rebounded to go 17-3-4 over their next 24 games to get back into the playoff picture. However, Anaheim's current two-game slide has it seven points back of a playoff spot.

Following a three-goal defeat in Colorado on Tuesday, the Ducks unleashed 43 shots on Buffalo netminder Ryan Miller on Wednesday, but he stopped each one in handing Anaheim a 2-0 defeat. The Ducks were shut out for the fifth time this season and for the first time since Jan. 24.

Jonas Hiller was touched for both goals on 24 shots for Anaheim.

"For me, it's tough to be back there, feel like I'm playing pretty well and seeing the guys trying and trying and not getting anywhere," said Hiller. "It's definitely frustrating. If we play like that every night, we always have a chance to win."

The Flames are five points ahead of the Ducks in the standings, leaving them two back of the eighth-place Stars. Following an 0-2-2 homestand, Calgary visited Phoenix on Thursday night and got back on track with a 4-2 victory.

A three-goal first period sparked the Flames, with Mike Cammalleri getting things started with 5:51 left in the frame before Curtis Glencross -- shorthanded -- and Olli Jokinen netted their 20th goals of the season.

Jarome Iginla scored into the empty net and also had an assist, while Miikka Kiprusoff made 29 saves.

"This was big, we needed these points right here and we needed to snap this streak," said Cammalleri. "It was huge and hopefully we can carry this momentum over into our next game."

The Flames and Ducks have split two meetings so far this year, with each team winning once at home. Calgary snapped a four-game slide with a 1-0 overtime victory back on Jan. 12, getting 23 saves from Kiprusoff. Blair Jones tallied the winner 1:51 into the extra frame.

The Ducks, though, responded with a 3-2 shootout win on Feb. 6. Niklas Hagman earned the victory for Anaheim in the eight-round shootout, while Hiller made 24 stops through overtime and another six in the shootout. It was the Ducks' 14th straight home victory over the Flames, who haven't won in Anaheim since Jan. 19, 2004.