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Photo Credit: Candice Ward / USA Today Sports

Playoff FGD: Flames vs. Ducks, Game 3

After just two playoff games, it’s hard to imagine that Game 3 between the Calgary Flames and the Anaheim Ducks is a must-win for the Flames. But given the Flames’ lack of success at the Honda Center in Anaheim, a win in Game 3 tonight is tremendously important to keep the Flames’ hopes of a series win alive. A loss drops them to 3-0. A win bumps them to 2-1. It’s a big, big game for both teams. It might not be “must-win,” but it’s pretty damn close to being in that category.

The puck drops at 8 p.m. MT on CBC (with Rick Ball and John Garrett) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias). If you’re heading down to the game, weather-permitting the Flames are hosting a tailgate party starting at 5 p.m. on the west (C-Train) side of the rink.

THE FLAMES

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

Most likely there won’t be any lineup changes for the Flames.

Brian Elliott starts. He was superb in Game 1 when the team wasn’t, but he’s probably on the hook for two of the three Anaheim goals in Game 2 – notably the Jakub Silfverberg wrister and the Rickard Rakell wrap-around. Both were goals he seemingly was caught unaware on. He’ll need to be better for the Flames to have a chance tonight.

The Flames have been pretty good in their two games in Anaheim, but struggled to score that proverbial “next goal” – the goal that would break the back of their opposition and/or give their side some much needed breathing room. They need to stay out of the box, play at even strength the way they have been (for the most part), and try to bury the chances they do get. Expect yet another tight checking, one goal game.

THE DUCKS

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

No changes are expected for the Ducks.

John Gibson starts. He was shaky in Game 1 (but was very good in that third period) and was generally really good in Game 2. The Flames need to get traffic in front of him and make his life difficult if they want to succeed.

Sami Vatanen was a late scratch in Game 2. He traveled with the team and is being reevaluated, but is likely a no-go for tonight. (We’ll see if he takes warm-up.) Ondrej Kase was recalled from the AHL’s San Diego Gulls yesterday and will serve as an extra body for the next couple games. Aside from those notes, nothing substantial to report on the Ducks side.

THE NUMBERS

FLAMES DUCKS
Wins 0 2
Goals 4 6
Power Play 25.0% 27.3%
Penalty Kill 72.7% 75.0%
Score-Adjusted Corsi 50.4% 49.6%

KNOW THY ENEMY

Some Ducks follows for tonight’s contest:

SUM IT UP

The Flames have played two good games, mostly. But they’ve lost twice. They need to find a way to convert good efforts into victories, and fast, otherwise they’ll be finding their way to the golf course before too long.

  • Tanner

    Well, that was not the goaltending performance the Flames needed. Elliott was not nearly good enough. In fact, he was terrible. As a Flames fan in Edmonton, its extremely frustrating to hear my friends talk about how rock solid Cam Talbot is. Treliving needs to finally fix this issue.

      • Tanner

        That’s a good point. I don’t know how to feel about Treliving. I’ve liked a lot of his trades and draft picks. I also like Gulutzan. But his FA record is not as good – Frolik good, Brouwer terrible. I hated that Brouwer signing when it was made and I hate it even more now. Altogether, I’d say Treliving deserves an extension because I think he has legitimately improved the organization.

  • Moneyball

    Even though this loss blows, the Flames are still in it, that’s why you play all the games. Four games from now we could be toasting to a Flames series win.

  • BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull

    Ouch. The golf clubs are a harking. Elliott couldn’t stop beach ball. But the worst part of it was when the Ducks scored that idiot John Garrett sounded pleased. You guys have a talented young team and with a few tweaks you’ll be back at next year. From an Oiler fan

  • aye

    Despite great numbers in the last few years, Elliot was never trusted as the #1, we know why now. STL was criticized for letting go Brouwer, Backes, Elliot, Shattenkirk, yet they are up 3-0 on the Wild. The only consolation for Flames is that Hawks and Wilds are also in the same boat.
    Funny how poorly teams with long winning streaks this season are doing. Philly missed the playoffs, CGY, MIN, CBJ, all facing 3-0 deficits in the first round.