Ducks vs. Flames Preview
Calgary, Alberta (AP) - With good reason, the Anaheim Ducks' top line of Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan and captain Ryan Getzlaf receives plenty of attention from opponents. Teams can't forget about 40-year-old winger Teemu Selanne.
The Ducks go for their first season sweep of the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night when the two playoff hopefuls meet at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
According to NHL odds and oddsmakers from online sports book Bodog.com have made the Flames -125 money line favorites for Wednesday's game against the Ducks. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 90% of more than 95% bets for this game have been placed on the Ducks +115.
Anaheim (43-28-5) owes much of its success during its current 11-3-0 run to Perry, Ryan and Getzlaf, who have combined for 19 goals and 36 assists in this stretch.
Selanne also deserves plenty of credit. He has eight goals and 10 assists in March - he didn't have more than 12 points in any other month - after recording his 22nd career hat trick and adding two assists in Monday's 5-4 win over Colorado.
"If you try to shut their top line down, you have to be careful, because the second line is just as dangerous," Avalanche center Paul Stastny said. "There's a reason why (Selanne) has 75 points. Him, (Saku) Koivu, (Jason) Blake, their defensemen - they always jump in, so it doesn't matter who's out there. You have to be aware."
The Flames (38-28-11) know exactly what Selanne is capable of doing. He leads the Ducks with seven points in the season series despite missing the first meeting with a groin injury. He scored a game-tying third-period goal in each of the last two matchups.
Selanne had a season-best three assists in the teams' only meeting at the Saddledome, a 5-4 overtime victory Feb. 11. The only time the Ducks won twice in Calgary in the same season was 1995-96, and they've never won every matchup in this season series since entering the league in 1993.
The Flames are desperate to avoid being swept because they are outside the Western Conference postseason picture and are four points behind Anaheim, which is in playoff position.
Calgary ended a three-game losing streak and finished a 1-1-2 trip Saturday with a 5-4 shootout victory over league-worst Edmonton. Unanswered third-period goals by Jarome Iginla, Curtis Glencross and Steve Staios helped the Flames rally from three down.
"That was awesome," said Iginla, who scored twice on the power play and has six goals in the last five games. " ... That was a playoff game for us. That was our playoff lives and we get to live again."
Calgary could be in for a tough test against Ray Emery, who made 31 saves Monday to improve to 5-0-0 with a 1.88 goals-against average since being called up from the minors.
Emery has allowed three goals in three career starts against the Flames, including a 3-0 win with Philadelphia the last time he faced them Feb. 1, 2010.Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff has allowed eight goals in two starts versus Anaheim this season and was pulled early in the most recent one, allowing three goals on five shots in a 5-4 overtime loss March 20. Kiprusoff has a 3.86 GAA in his last six starts overall.
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