NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, April 19th (All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (27-10-6) at Calgary Flames (17-22-4), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The struggling Anaheim Ducks will try to move closer to the second division title in franchise history when they visit the Calgary Flames for Friday's clash at the Saddledome.
Although the Ducks have lost their last three games, with 60 points the team still sits in first place in the Pacific Division and second place in the Western Conference. Anaheim is five points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for the division lead and five in front of Vancouver for the conference's second seed.
Anaheim won its only other division title in 2006-07, when the franchise also claimed its one and only Stanley Cup.
The Ducks, who are just 5-7-2 over their last 14 tests, have managed to score only four total goals during their current three-game slide. Anaheim posted two of those goals in Wednesday's home test against Columbus, but the Blue Jackets won a 3-2 overtime decision.
Fedor Tyutin scored 2:19 into the extra session to help the Blue Jackets earn an important two points. Anaheim held one-goal leads on two occasions on Wednesday, including after David Steckel scored to make it 2-1 early in the third period.
Sami Vatanen also scored for the Ducks, while Viktor Fasth made 24 stops in the loss.
"Of course it's not fun to lose the game," said Vatanen. "Every loss is a tough one for us, but these guys have played a pretty good season. They're in a good spot right now, so we've just got to find a way to end this losing streak and focus on the next game."
Anaheim has lost four straight just once this season, going 0-4-0 from March 22-27.
The Ducks are 11-4-5 as the road team and are kicking off a four-game road trip tonight. Anaheim's next home game will be its regular-season finale on April 27 against Phoenix.
Anaheim is 2-0 against the Flames this season and will try for a season-series sweep on Friday. The Ducks have claimed four of five and eight of the last 10 meetings against Calgary overall and they have three wins in the past five trips to the Saddledome.
Calgary has taken to its spoiler role recently, winning three of four and four of six despite being eliminated from postseason contention for the fourth straight spring.
The Flames are coming off Wednesday's 3-2 decision against the visiting Detroit Red Wings, a team desperately fighting to make the playoffs for a 22nd straight season. Steve Begin scored twice in the third period to snap a tie and send Calgary to the win.
Lee Stempniak added a first-period marker to back 36 saves from Miikka Kiprusoff for the Flames.
"In this league when you get the goaltending that we got tonight, you're always improving your chances to win," said Flames head coach Bob Hartley. "From the first shot we knew that Miikka was on his game."
Friday's test not only marks the end of a three-game homestand, but is also Calgary's final tilt at the Saddledome this season. The Flames, who close their 2012-13 schedule on a four-game road trip, are 12-9-2 as the host this season.
04/19 11:06:04 ET