FGD 61: Duck hunting (7pm MT, SN West)

One Pacific Division team fights for survival while the other tries to get closer to punching their playoff ticket on Friday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Calgary Flames (37-16-7, 81 points) are atop their division and are trying to inch closer to officially clinching a post-season spot. The Anaheim Ducks (24-27-9, 57 points) aren’t quite so fortunate, sitting five points out of a playoff spot with several teams to climb over. Can the Flames match Anaheim’s desperation?

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The puck drops after 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Monahan – Tkachuk
Frolik – Backlund – Lindholm
Bennett – Jankowski – Czarnik
Mangiapane – Ryan – Hathaway

Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Hamonic
Brodie – Prout

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Mike Smith starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich. The projected healthy scratches are Dalton Prout and Curtis Lazar, while James Neal remains out with a lower body injury. Oliver Kylington is dealing with the aftermath of a shot block from Wednesday’s game, so he comes out and Bill Peters shuffles the pairings a little bit:

Kyl was gonna play, but reports were it would beneficial to go the other direction. We would’ve had Brodes with Gio, but I didn’t want to go with two lefties up top and then two righties there with a young guy on the left side on that three pair.

Wednesday’s win over the New York Islanders may be the template for the Flames from here on out. They were better defensively, they were better offensively, they got goaltending, and their special teams chipped in. If the Flames can play a few more games like that one, their playoff participation will become a certainty.

The Ducks

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Ritchie – Rakell – Perry
Jones – Henrique – Terry
Shore – Grant – Silfverberg
Gibbons – Kesler – Rowney

Lindholm – Manson
Fowler – del Zotto
Megna – Montour

Coming off a shutout in Minnesota on Tuesday, Ryan Miller starts for the Ducks (backed up by Kevin Boyle). The projected healthy scratches are Daniel Sprong and Andy Welinski.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Update: No Ryan Getzlaf tonight due to an injury, so Brian Gibbons will dress.

The Ducks have won back to back games, but they’re (a) four points out of the playoffs and (b) several games under .500. They were demolished by injuries to key players early in the season and are still trying to dig themselves out of that hole.

They’re a desperate bunch, so the Flames will need to be sharp to get points.

The Numbers

Wins 37 24
Points 81 57
Adjusted Corsi 52.8% 46.0%
Power Play 22.5% 15.5%
Penalty Kill 78.1% 80.6%

Injury Report

The Flames are without Michael Stone and James Neal.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Ducks are without John Gibson, Chad Johnson and Ondrej Kase.

Season Series

The Flames and Ducks have played once already this season (a 3-2 Ducks win in Anaheim) and have two more meetings remaining after tonight. Their season series concludes Apr. 3 in Anaheim.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Ducks Twitter follows for tonight:

FGD brought to you by ATB Financial

From peewee to the pros, Albertans love the atmosphere, energy, and life lessons that take place at rinks across the province. And where there’s an arena, you’ll find an ATB branch nearby—with our team members cheering and fundraising along with you. See more information at ATB.com.