Ducks try to break out of slump versus Flames

( - The suddenly slumping Anaheim Ducks will aim for only their second win in seven games when they visit the Calgary Flames for Friday's Pacific Division battle at the Saddledome.

Despite losing five of six and going 3-6-1 in their last 10 outings, the Ducks still hold a comfortable eight-point lead over Vancouver for first in the Pacific. Third-place Calgary is nine points behind, but can pick up some ground in tonight's fourth meeting of the season series.

The Flames notched a home shootout win over the Ducks on Nov. 18, but Anaheim has won the last two encounters, both which were played at the Honda Center. The clubs will complete the season series with another meeting at the Saddledome on March 11.

Anaheim enters this divisional clash after losing both tilts of a two-game homestand. The Ducks were handed a 5-3 loss by Washington on Sunday before dropping Wednesday's 4-1 decision against Tampa Bay.

The Lightning scored four times in the second period to down the Ducks. John Gibson gave up all four goals on 32 shots, while Patrick Maroon notched Anaheim's only goal at the 4:17 mark of the opening period.

"The first period is the way we wanted to play. For some reason, it didn't carry over," Ducks forward Corey Perry said.

Anaheim goaltender Frederik Andersen, who hasn't played since suffering a neck injury on Feb. 8 in Tampa, did not make the trip to Calgary and will sit out for a fifth straight game. Andersen has a 29-8-5 record this season.

Gibson could again get the call in net tonight over Ilya Bryzgalov, who is just 1-4-1 with a lofty 4.19 goals against average in eight outings with Anaheim this season.

The Ducks are 16-8-4 as the guest this season and will visit Edmonton on Saturday.

While forward Matt Beleskey and defenseman Sami Vatanen are expected to miss weeks of action after getting injured Sunday against the Capitals, blueliner Hampus Lindholm is questionable for tonight's test. Lindholm missed Wednesday's game with a lower-body injury.

The Flames are capping a four-game homestand tonight before heading out for seven straight on the road. Calgary is 2-0-1 on the residency after falling in overtime Wednesday against the Minnesota Wild.

Calgary allowed the Wild to take an early 2-0 lead before sending the game to overtime. Jiri Hudler cut the deficit to 2-1 late in the first period and Lance Bouma notched the tying goal midway through the third.

However, Mikko Koivu would deliver the extra point for the Wild, when he scored 1:50 into overtime to give Minnesota the 3-2 decision.

"It's a big point," said Flames coach Bob Hartley. "We had two missed assignments on their first two goals... (In the) second and third period, I thought we had the momentum."

Jonas Hiller made 26 saves in the loss and is expected to start again tonight. The former Ducks netminder is 1-1-0 with a 2.78 goals against average against his old club.

Calgary has won three of four and five of its last seven home games against the Ducks. The Flames are 17-11-3 as the host this season.