The Anaheim Ducks hope to rebound from a disappointing effort last time out when they attempt to start another long home winning streak against the Calgary Flames on Friday. The Ducks, who lost for the first time in 26 home games against Calgary on Oct. 9, managed just 13 shots over the final two periods of Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to visiting Vegas.
“We got away from the things that have made us successful,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle told reporters after the setback. “We started to turn the puck over and we got spread out. … They frustrated us. We couldn’t really execute and found ways to self-destruct.” The Ducks have moved much closer to full health after Ryan Kesler made his return on Wednesday, and the former Selke Trophy winner will be important against the Flames, who possess a dangerous offense that is due to wake up. Calgary earned a point for the third time in four games Thursday in a 3-2 shootout loss at San Jose. Flames leading scorer Johnny Gaudreau has cooled off of late but has posted 14 points in 15 career contests against Anaheim.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, Sportsnet West (Calgary), FSN West (Anaheim)
ABOUT THE FLAMES (18-15-4): Gaudreau has recorded just two points in his last five games but leads the team with 41, while Sean Monahan is next with 32 despite going eight contests without a goal and notching just two assists in that span. Mikael Backlund scored his eighth goal on Thursday and is tied with Matthew Tkachuk for third on the team with 22 points. Calgary has scored a power-play goal in three of its last four games but is just 5-for-48 with the man advantage over its last 14 contests.
ABOUT THE DUCKS (16-14-8): Kesler recorded three shots and a minus-3 rating in 16 minutes, 27 seconds of ice time in Wednesday’s loss after missing the team’s first 37 contests with a hip injury. Second-leading scorer Corey Perry (22 points), who has been out since Dec. 11 with a knee injury, is the only key player unavailable for Anaheim after it was hampered by various ailments to its top players. Rickard Rakell has scored in three consecutive games to lead the team with 11 goals and 25 points while captain Ryan Getzlaf has collected nine points in eight contests after missing 19 due to injury.
1. Calgary RW Jaromir Jagr tied Ron Francis for third place on the all-time list by playing in his 1,731st game on Thursday.
2. Anaheim D Brandon Montour has notched an assist in three straight games and is third on the team with 19 points.
3. The Flames also snapped a seven-game overall losing streak against the Ducks with their win in October.
PREDICTION: Ducks 2, Flames 1