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The Anaheim Ducks are one of the best teams in the NHL, but on Sunday they'll face one of just two teams to hand them a regulation loss this season.
The Ducks try to win their season-high fourth straight home game and avenge a rare defeat when they host the Calgary Flames at the Honda Center.
Propelled by an NHL record 12-0-4 start to the season, Anaheim has totaled 38 points to tie the Buffalo Sabres for the league lead. That streak was snapped with a 3-0 loss to the Flames on Nov. 10, giving Calgary (10-9-2) its second shutout win over Anaheim in three meetings.
The Ducks have fared better against the Flames at home, winning three straight and going 9-1 with three ties in the last 13 matchups there.
Anaheim won its league-best 11th home game this season after defeating the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Friday as Todd Marchant scored the go-ahead short-handed goal and added an empty netter.
"Todd is a true professional and a great example for everybody in this room," said Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer, who had an assist against the team he spent his first 12 seasons with. "He comes to work every day and does the ugly jobs, the difficult jobs and does them very well. You need guys like that to win hockey games."
Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere has been a key to the Ducks' success so far this season. He made 25 saves Friday to improve to 13-1-5 with a 2.21 goals-against average. He also is 8-7 with two ties and a 2.34 GAA in 18 career games against the Flames.
Giguere split four postseason starts versus Calgary last year, posting a 3.87 GAA, as the Ducks eliminated the Flames in seven games before eventually losing to the Edmonton Oilers in five games of the Western Conference finals.
Calgary didn't look like a playoff contender early this season, going 3-7-2 in its first 12 games. After a six-game winning streak, the Flames have dropped two of three including a 3-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.
Alex Tanguay put the Flames on the board in the first period, but Miikka Kiprusoff allowed three unanswered goals.
"It seems like we play a different game on the road, so we need to sharpen up and play the same way we play at home," said Tanguay after the Flames dropped to 3-6-2 on the road. "We know if you don't work hard, you're not going to play in their zone very often.
"And in the third period, we didn't work as hard as we needed to."
Tanguay has 11 points in his last seven games, a stretch that started with a two-assist game against Anaheim earlier this month. That also gave him nine assists in his last five games versus the Ducks.
Kiprusoff, last season's Vezina Trophy winner, allowed more than two goals for the first time in nine starts and dropped to 10-9-1 with a 2.16 GAA this season. He's 6-2 with a 1.43 GAA in eight career games against the Ducks and has earned shutouts in his last two starts versus them.
Jarome Iginla had an assist in the loss to the Kings, and leads the Flames in scoring with 24 points. He has a seven-game points streak against the Ducks, tallying four goals and five assists in that span.
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