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Flame On

Monday, 02.06.2012 / 11:36 AM
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Ducks Off the Ice by Adam Brady
Flame On
This overtime win last March made it 13 in a row at home vs. Calgary.
The Ducks haven't lost a regular season game to the Calgary Flames at Honda Center since well before it was even called Honda Center, a 13-game run of home domination that desperately needs to continue tonight.

Cam Fowler was just 12 years old and Teemu Selanne had less than 450 goals when the Flames last won in Anaheim a 5-1 victory on January 19, 2004. No one could have predicted it would be their last win here for the next eight years, although, that Calgary win ended a nine-game winless stretch that had dated back to January 13, 1999. (It's important to point out, also, that the Flames did take Game 3 of the first round series at the former Pond in 2006, a series the Ducks ultimately won in seven.)

To presume that lengthy streak has much to do with what will go on tonight is silly. After all, the only guy who played in that game who will also suit up tonight is Toni Lydman (and he was playing for Calgary at the time). Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff, who will be in there for the Flames tonight, were actually both out with injuries in that '04 game.

So, as Jerry Seinfeld might say, it's really the Ducks' clothes that have dominated the Flames' laundry all these years.

"None of that stuff matters when it comes down to it," Ryan Getzlaf told the OC Register. "Every time you step on the ice (against them), it's usually a new team from year to year. We've got to make sure that we continue it."

Said Iginla to the Calgary Herald, "We go in with the mindset that we're due to win in there, right? As far as guys thinking, ‘Oh, we haven’t won there in forever.’ That’s not (true, except) for a few of us, you know what I mean? Other guys have only played three, two games in there (as Flames).”

So history means very little tonight, as both the Ducks and Flames could desperately use a win -- though Anaheim is a bit more desperate than Calgary. The Ducks know their margin for error is dwindling by the day, after losing last Wednesday to the Stars and getting only a point against the Blue Jackets last Friday. Anaheim is 12 points back of Minnesota in the eighth spot, with five teams between them and that plateau. That includes these Flames, who are four points back.

"We're in that position," Bruce Boudreau said yesterday. "We've just got to play one game at a time. You can't look at the big things because it'll be overwhelming if you look at the whole picture."

This morning, for the second straight day, Matt Beleskey skated with the second line while Niklas Hagman was moved to the fourth unit. The combos looked like this:

Ryan-Getzlaf-Perry
Beleskey-Koivu-Selanne
Bonino-Cogliano-Blake
Hagman-Pelley-Parros

“Sometimes guys get in a rut,” Boudreau said of Hagman, who is scoreless in his last five games. “They just sort of need a wake-up call a little bit. When we put Beleskey on the fourth line about eight games ago or 10 games ago, he went ‘Whoa’. And then he started to really come on."

Beleskey played 13:48 against Dallas and had a goal in that game. He also scored in the win over Phoenix out of the All-Star break.

“I like the way Matt’s been playing," Boudreau said. "I think he deserves to have a step up. It’s like anything else. You’re looked at every day. And you’ve got to keep improving every day.”

The Ducks, by the way, made a couple of moves in the last 24 hours, sending backup goalie Jeff Deslauriers to Syracuse to get him some work, as Jonas Hiller has played the last 10 games. Iiro Tarkki was brought up to be the backup. This morning, the Ducks sent Devante Smith-Pelly to Syracuse on a conditioning assignment, as he gets closer to recovering from that broken foot. It's a 14-day assignment, meaning he can only play AHL games during that time.
- - -

It seems that Luca Sbisa suffered a minor injury over the weekend, something that had absolutely nothing to do with hockey. Sbisa is sporting a scrape on the right side of his face that didn't come from a high stick, didn't come from a mid-game fight or a hard hit. Instead, it came from a lesson in the perilous mix of bikes and cell phones.

From the OC Register:

The young Ducks defenseman said he was riding on a beach cruiser to his Newport Beach home Saturday night when he took a face-first spill that caused cuts and bruises near his right temple.

“I was close to home,” Sbisa said. “Minutes. And I was on the phone. I wasn’t paying attention and the curbs are like this high (holding his hands nearly a foot apart). My one wheel starting rubbing the curb and it got caught.

“My hands were behind me and that’s why I got [scraped] up here. My face hit the ground.”

Teammates naturally had fun with Sbisa’s highly-visible moment of embarassment.

“His bicycle’s alright,” goalie Jonas Hiller said. “It was protected well because of the face.”

Said Sbisa: “It was dark. I wasn’t paying attention. At least no one saw it. I was like it didn’t even hurt until I got home and I’m looking in the mirror and I’m like, ‘This is bad.’

“It just rubbed [on the concrete]. It looks worse than it is.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 62 37 20 5 183 146 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 DAL 61 27 25 9 191 202 63
12 COL 61 26 24 11 161 175 63
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 59 19 39 9 58
C. Perry 47 24 17 12 41
R. Kesler 62 15 22 -4 37
S. Vatanen 57 12 22 6 34
M. Beleskey 56 21 9 13 30
P. Maroon 54 7 21 -3 28
H. Lindholm 59 6 22 19 28
J. Silfverberg 61 9 17 7 26
C. Fowler 61 5 21 -5 26
K. Palmieri 37 12 11 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 29 8 5 .916 2.37
J. Gibson 6 5 0 .915 2.69

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