Calgary Flames (1-1-0-0) vs. Anaheim Ducks (1-0-1-0)
When: 10:00 PM ET, Monday, October 9, 2017
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
Lines: Calgary +110 / Anaheim -130
The injury-plagued Anaheim Ducks (3rd in Pacific Division) remain on their own ice for the third consecutive game of the new season, playing hosts to the Calgary Flames (6th in Pacific), who are arriving fresh from a victory against Winnipeg…
Flames Net Six Past Jets
After being shut out 3-0 in their season opener at the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday, the Calgary Flames didn’t hold back offensively just three days later, beating the Winnipeg Jets 6-3 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday. The hosts found themselves with a two-goal first-period deficit after Winnipeg opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal and added another two markers before the first interval to break a 1-1 deadlock. It was Calgary show during the remaining 40 minutes, though, as the Flames buried four strikes in the second frame, adding the fifth one just 16 seconds into the final third.
Johnny Gaudreau grabbed one goal and three assists, while TJ Brodie collected two markers and a couple of helpers, with both of them matching their NHL career-highs in points in one game. Kris Versteeg got a goal and an assist, while Micheal Ferland and Mikael Backlund netted a snipe each. Goalie Mike Smith, who made 42 saves on his Calgary debut three days earlier, made 25 stops on Saturday, taking his current season total to 1-1-0 with a 2.52 GAA and a .931 save percentage. He is 12-8-3 versus the Anaheim Ducks in past encounters with a 2.55 GAA and a .917 save percentage. The Flames, meanwhile, are 12th in most goals netted per outing during the 2017-18 campaign (3.00), ranking 12th in least goals allowed as well (3.00 per contest). Calgary is 5th best in power play with a 28.6% success rate (2-for-7) and 17th in penalty kill with 80% efficiency (4-for-5).
Ducks Struggle On The Offense
The lack of fire-power due to injuries finally caught up with the Anaheim Ducks (1-0-1), who failed to recapture the same offensive threat against the visiting Philadelphia Flyers at Honda Center on Saturday that led the team to a 5-4 opening-night victory versus the Arizona Coyotes just two days prior. Still skating without six injured regulars, including Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler and Patrick Eaves, the hosts were outshot by the Flyers 37-23 and failed to take command of the proceedings, despite tying the game twice for a 2-2 regulation stalemate. Philadelphia won the game 44 seconds into overtime, claiming its first victory against the Ducks in the past nine overall meetings.
Antoine Vermette collected his first point of the season and 500th in his NHL career with a first-period, 4-on-4 strike that tied the game at 1-1. Cam Fowler, meanwhile, earned his own first point of the current campaign, canceling out Philadelphia’s 2-1 lead with a shorthanded snipe at the start of the final frame. Despite allowing three goals, goalie John Gibson was excellent in the crease for the Ducks, making a total of 34 saves. He has now gone 1-0-1 in the 2017-18 term with a 3.47 GAA and a .896 save percentage. Gibson’s career record against the Calgary Flames stands at 7-1-0 with a combined GAA of 1.84 and a .926 save percentage. The Ducks are currently 10th in most goals netted per fixture (3.50), 13th in most goals allowed on average (3.50 per contest), bottom of the league in power play with no goals scored during the man-advantage so far (0-for-6) and 9th in penalty kill with 77.8% efficiency (7-for-9).
- Flames are 0-29 in their last 29 meetings with Ducks in Anaheim.
- Flames are 0-4 in their last 4 road games.
- Flames are 0-4 in their last 4 games following a win.
- Ducks are 8-2 in their last 10 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Ducks are 40-16 in their last 56 vs. Pacific.
While Anaheim’s injury problems didn’t really matter in the team’s first outing of the season against Arizona, they were quite on the show versus Philadelphia. It is still unclear if any of the injured players are bound to return in the game against Calgary (Getzlaf should be back; then again, he should’ve been back for the start of the season!). But there is one other trump card the Ducks hold against the Flames. The so-called “Curse of the Honda Center”, which has seen Calgary lose 29 consecutive games in Anaheim, still very much lives on and could – just could! – play the leading role here once again…