The Anaheim Ducks made NHL history with their last victory. They have a way to go before reaching their ultimate goal.
The Ducks look to remain unbeaten in regulation for a 17th straight game to start the season when they visit the Calgary Flames at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Friday in a rematch of their Western Conference quarterfinal series from last season.
With a 6-0 win over Vancouver on Thursday, Anaheim (12-0-4) surpassed the league's previous best start to open a season set by the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers, who started 12 wins and three ties.
"Nobody expected this kind of a start, this is pretty amazing, but we have bigger goals than this. Our goal is all the way at the end," Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere said. "It's nice to have this, but it should just be a confidence builder more than anything."
Although the Ducks have benefited from the elimination of ties - having lost once in overtime and three times in shootouts - they've still been outstanding on both ends of the ice.
Anaheim, which scored on three of its first nine shots Thursday, leads the Western Conference with 59 goals. Chris Kunitz tallied his team-leading eighth goal and has matched a career high by scoring in his last three games.
Giguere made 20 saves to record his second shutout of the season, and improved to 9-0-4 with a 2.08 goals-against average this season.
"We're only at game 16 gentlemen, there's a long way to go," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We're in a marathon, not a sprint here."
Playing in its 14th season, Anaheim has only one Stanley Cup finals appearance in its history, losing to New Jersey in seven games in 2003.
The Ducks eliminated the Flames (5-7-2) in seven games in last year's playoffs, before losing to Edmonton in five games of the conference finals. Anaheim has lost its last four games in the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Giguere, who played for the Flames from 1998-2000, lost his only start in Calagry last season, but was 2-1-0 with a 2.36 GAA in three regular-season starts against his former team.
Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff is 3-0-0 with a 0.67 GAA and one shutout in his career at home against the Ducks.
After a rough start, the reigning Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender has started to round into form. Kiprusoff made 25 saves in a 3-1 victory over Dallas on Tuesday to help Calgary win consecutive games for the first time all season.
"Kipper played outstanding, especially in the third period," said Tony Amonte, who scored two goals.
Kiprusoff is 5-7-1 with a 2.63 GAA, after going 42-20-11 with a 2.07 GAA and a league-high 10 shutouts last season.
Captain Jarome Iginla had an assist against the Stars, and has six goals in his last seven games. Iginla had five goals and three assists in last season's playoff series against Anaheim.
Center Daymond Langkow leads the Flames with eight assists, and has recorded a point in six straight and 11 of his last 12 games against the Ducks, tallying six goals and seven assists altogether.
|AnaheimDucks.com is the official Web site of the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim Ducks and AnaheimDucks.com are trademarks of Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.|