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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 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48

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