Surging Flames play host to Maple Leafs

( - The Calgary Flames hope to post another win and remain unbeaten in regulation this month when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs in Friday's clash at the Saddledome.

The Flames are 4-0-1 in March and coming off Wednesday's 6-3 triumph over visiting Anaheim.

With 79 points, Calgary is tied with Los Angeles in the Pacific Division standings, although the Flames hold the current tiebreaker over the Kings, who are hanging on to the last wild card spot in the West. Calgary also is just one point behind Vancouver for second place in the division. Both L.A. and the Canucks are idle on Friday.

The Ducks grabbed a 2-0 lead before Wednesday's game was three minutes old, but Calgary scored the next five goals to take control of the contest.

Ryan Getzlaf scored 22 seconds into the game and tallied again at the 2:51 mark for a two-goal cushion. However, Calgary evened the score at 2-2 before the end of the first period and then built a 5-2 lead in the second stanza.

Johnny Gaudreau and Matt Stajan each tallied twice for the Flames, while Kris Russell and Dennis Wideman posted three assists apiece. Sean Monahan and Jiri Hudler added scores to help Calgary win for the fifth time in seven games.

Gaudreau's two-goal night gives him 18 goals and 50 points on the season, making him the first Flames rookie to reach the 50-point plateau since Jarome Iginla in 1996-97.

The 21-year-old Gaudreau is second to Nashville's Filip Forsberg in rookie scoring. Forsberg has 53 points.

"Looking at last night he was flying," Flames coach Bob Hartley said of Gaudreau on Thursday.

Karri Ramo made 29 saves for the win over the Ducks, but Jonas Hiller is expected to start tonight.

Hiller will be looking for his first career win versus the Maple Leafs. He is 0-5-0 with a 4.28 goals against average in five lifetime outings against Toronto.

Calgary is 18-12-3 as the host this season and is capping a brief two-game homestand tonight. The Flames will visit Colorado on Saturday before heading back to Alberta for a five-game stay at the Saddledome.

The Maple Leafs had lost three straight before beating Buffalo 4-3 in a shootout on Wednesday. The win came in the finale of a three-game homestand, but did little to change Toronto's fate of missing the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons.

Toronto is playing out the string, but it could take on a spoiler role down the stretch. The Leafs are beginning a three-game road trip tonight and the first two tilts are against potential playoff clubs from the Western Conference.

Peter Horachek's club, which is 8-21-5 as the guest this season, will visit Vancouver on Saturday before capping the swing Monday against lowly Edmonton.

The Maple Leafs have had success against Calgary recently, winning three straight and four of the last five meetings in this series. That success hasn't extended to games played in the Saddledome, however, as Toronto had lost seven straight in Calgary before posting a 4-2 win there on Oct. 30, 2013 in the last game between the clubs in Alberta.

The Leafs were down 3-2 to the Sabres after 40 minutes, but Tyler Bozak netted the tying score late in the contest, then recorded the winning goal in the shootout.

"I've gone a bunch of times now and my confidence has grown," Bozak said of his wrister which was the lone marker in the breakaway competition for either side. "Things went well early for me so I feel good every time I go. I'm excited to go and want to go every time we get to the shootout."

Brandon Kozun and Leo Komarov also scored for the Maple Leafs. Jonathan Bernier came up with 30 saves in regulation and overtime then stopped all three Buffalo shooters.

Toronto scratched forward Nazem Kadri for a second straight game and he will sit out for one more contest tonight due to a disciplinary issue.