Flames-Ducks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 06, 2012
In the win column again following back-to-back losses, the Calgary Flames know they have to keep picking up points if they're going to make a move up the Western Conference standings. Getting that done in Anaheim could prove difficult. The Flames will try to snap a 13-game road losing streak in this series on Monday night when they face a Ducks team that's run into difficulties following an outstanding stretch last month. Calgary (24-22-6) had dropped the first two contests on its three-game homestand following a 5-1-1 surge, but avoided a third consecutive loss with Friday's 3-1 victory over Chicago. The Flames, four points back of eighth-place Minnesota in the West, now open a three-game trip against Pacific Division opponents with their first of two visits to Anaheim this season. "More than anything, we just have to climb," captain Jarome Iginla told the Flames' official website after scoring a goal and setting up another Friday. "We have to get ourselves on a roll here." Calgary has won two straight road games after losing a season-high six straight as the away team, but the Flames are 0-8-4 in Anaheim including postseason since a 5-2 playoff victory April 25, 2006. The Ducks haven't lost a home game to Calgary in regular season play since Jan. 19, 2004. Another solid performance by Miikka Kiprusoff could produce better results. The veteran netminder turned aside 26 shots Friday while breaking Mike Vernon's franchise record for goalies with 527 games played. "With the goalie we have, he gives us a chance to win every night so it's not like we have to score four or five goals,'' Calgary center Olli Jokinen said of Kiprusoff, who is one victory shy of becoming the 27th goaltender with 300. Kiprusoff made 23 saves in a 1-0 home win over the Ducks on Jan. 8, but he's 0-5-2 with a 3.90 goals-against average in eight starts in Anaheim since joining the Flames in 2003. Kiprusoff lasted just 5:49 in Calgary's last visit, a 5-4 overtime loss March 20 in which he yielded three goals on five shots. Teemu Selanne, who netted the game-tying power-play score in that contest before Corey Perry won it for Anaheim, recorded his fourth multigoal game of the season Saturday in a 3-2 overtime loss to league-worst Columbus. Selanne is one goal shy of tying Brendan Shanahan - now the NHL's head disciplinarian - for 12th all-time with 656, but he's more concerned with the fact that the Ducks have dropped three of four following an 8-0-1 run. "You can't be happy with (personal accomplishments),'' Selanne said. "Really frustrating. We just couldn't do it." Sitting in 14th place in the West - and trailing the Wild by 12 points - the Ducks will likely need better special teams play if they're going to make a playoff push. Anaheim went 1 for 5 on the power play Saturday against the Blue Jackets' league-worst penalty kill unit. "I told them, 'I don't know why I'm putting you guys back out there,''' coach Bruce Boudreau said. "'I must be a fool for punishment, but you're the best we have.'" The Flames have fought off all 13 penalties over their last six games.
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