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Big Story: Having lost two in a row in their daunting quest to get into playoff position, the Ducks face a critical game against the Flames at Honda Center. One night after ending the Coyotes' 11-0-1 streak and their own five-game victory drought in the desert, the Flames will try to end another hex when they come to Anaheim, where they've gone 14 games (0-9-5) without winning. The Ducks haven't lost to the Flames at Honda Center in the regular season since January 19, 2004.
Flames: After an 0-2-2 homestead, the Flames desperately needed a win in Phoenix. They got it thanks to a three-goal burst late in the first period that enabled them to hold off the Coyotes' second-period push -- Jarome Iginla's empty-netter sealed the 4-2 win and moved the Flames within two points of eighth-place Dallas.
"We were definitely desperate," said Iginla, who had a goal and an assist. "We know what's at stake and played a complete game. The guys competed hard and in the third period; when it counted, we applied good pressure."
Ducks : Anaheim followed its 5-1-2 road trip by beating Chicago 3-1 on Sunday to get within four points of eighth place in the West. But the weary Ducks ran out of gas Monday night in Colorado, allowing three goals in a 4-1 loss, then ran into the NHL's hottest goaltender on Wednesday when Buffalo's Ryan Miller stopped 43 shots to give the Sabres a 2-0 victory.
The Ducks host Calgary and then travel up the highway to Los Angeles on Saturday. With time starting to run out on their playoff hopes, they need to win.
"It's against two opponents that we're chasing," right wing Corey Perry told the team's website. "You win both and it's four points. You never know where that can put you at the end of the day. They are probably the two biggest games of the year right now."
Who's Hot: Calgary center Olli Jokinen has points in his last two games and reached the 20-goal mark by scoring against Phoenix. Alex Tanguay has three multi-point games in his last four outings.
Injury Report: Calgary is missing defenseman Chris Butler (lacerated leg) and forwards Lee Stempniak (high ankle sprain), Blair Jones (ankle) and Mikael Backlund (arm). … The Ducks are healthy except for backup goaltender Dan Ellis (groin).
Stat Pack: Perry, who leads Anaheim with 30 goals, had eight in nine games before being blanked in the last three. … Calgary has scored shorthanded goals in two of its last three games after not scoring any before last Saturday. … Anaheim has scored and allowed 57 goals in the second period.
Puck Drop: The Ducks spent Thursday working on offensive drills after being outscored 6-1 in its last two games. Coach Bruce Boudreau hopes the drills help his team's offense get out of its funk.
"What we were trying today is shooting drills and getting guys going to the net," Boudreau said, according to the team's website. "I don't know too many more things you can do. Hopefully, they start scoring in practice and they get confidence in scoring. We haven't scored an even strength goal in two games. We're not allowing more than two goals a game. If we scored three goals a game in the last 10 games, we would probably be 10-0."