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Photo Credit: Candice Ward / USA Today Sports

Playoff FGD: Flames at Ducks, Game 2

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The Calgary Flames had a lead after a pretty good first 30 minutes of hockey against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 on Thursday night. However, a few bad penalties and a really bad line change derailed their hopes and dreams of winning a game at the Honda Center. The Flames have a second chance tonight in Game 2, as they endeavour to get a split in Anaheim before returning to Calgary for Games 3 and 4. If the Flames can keep things at even strength and play the way they did on Thursday, they stand a good chance.

The puck drops at 8:30 p.m. MT on CBC (with Rick Ball and John Garrett) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias).

THE FLAMES

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

As we saw in Game 1, a mostly status quo lineup for Calgary.

Brian Elliott starts for the Flames. He was very good in Game 1, making 38 saves and giving up goals due to deflections off defenders, horrendous line changes and being screened by his defenders. He’s arguably been Calgary’s most consistently good player since about February onward. He’ll be backed up yet again by Jon Gillies, but expect Chad Johnson to dress very soon (and Gillies to head to the American Hockey League for the playoffs).

Update: Johnson was a full participant in today’s optional morning skate and…

Don’t expect any significant changes for the Flames. They made mistakes in Game 1 and those mistakes cost them, but fundamentally speaking they actually played really well. If they could just tidy up their play a bit and take fewer penalties, they could give the Ducks a run for their money here in Game 2.

THE DUCKS

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

We’re expecting just one tweak for the Ducks tonight.

John Gibson starts after playing shakily for the first two periods of Game 1 and then looking very sharp when the Ducks needed him to hold the fort in the third period. It sounds like Nick Ritchie slots back in on the third line tonight after his suspension, so that will bump Ondrej Kase to the press box. Kase wasn’t great in Game 1 and Ritchie will provide a physical element that was lacking at times for the Ducks in Game 1.

Update: Kase has been re-assigned to the AHL’s San Diego Gulls.

The Ducks were really reliant on special teams in Game 1, as their even strength play was fairly uninspired. Heck, they were getting hemmed in by the Flames fairly consistently in the second period before the wheels fell off for the visitors later in that period. They’ll need to tighten up their play at five on five if they want to head to Alberta up by a pair.

THE NUMBERS

FLAMES DUCKS
Wins 0 1
Goals 2 3
Power Play 20.0% 28.6%
Penalty Kill 71.4% 80.0%
Score-Adjusted Corsi 52.9% 47.1%

KNOW THY ENEMY

Some Ducks follows for tonight’s contest:

SUM IT UP

The Flames have a good chance to even things up with a solid 60 minutes of hockey.