The Anaheim Ducks have clinched a playoff berth, but getting back on track offensively would make their quest for a division title a whole lot easier.
Anaheim will try to move closer to the second Pacific Division crown in franchise history and sweep the Calgary Flames on Friday night in Alberta.
The Ducks have gone 8-1-1 in the last 10 meetings in this series.
While the Ducks rank among the league leaders at 2.81 goals per game, they've fallen on hard times on the offensive end lately.
Anaheim (27-10-6) has managed six goals over its last four games and 27 in a 5-7-2 stretch following a 3-2 overtime loss to Columbus on Wednesday.
"We just have to win some games and we have to have everybody contributing," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "The reason we had success was because everybody was contributing. The reason we're not having success now is because we're not getting everybody contributing."
David Steckel ended his 32-game goal drought but Daniel Winnik (20 games) and Saku Koivu (16) failed to snap theirs.
Winnik might have a good chance to do so in this contest, as he's scored three times in the first two games against the Flames.
Ryan Getzlaf, the team leader with 14 goals, has four goals and four assists in a five-game point streak in this series.
The Ducks outscored the Flames 9-4 in the first two meetings and have a chance to sweep them for the second time in three years.
A more pressing priority is holding on to the second seed in the Western Conference as they look to claim their first division title since their Stanley Cup championship season of 2006-07. Anaheim has a five-point cushion over Vancouver, San Jose and Los Angeles for that No. 2 spot, and it has a game in hand on all three.
Although the rebuilding Flames (17-22-4) have been eliminated from playoff contention for the fourth straight season, they're playing hard with numerous young players in the lineup. It was a veteran who made the difference Wednesday, though, as Steve Begin scored a pair of goals as Calgary earned its fourth win in six games, 3-2 over Detroit.
"We always say when you work hard, things somehow (are) going to turn for you," Begin said. "I guess it happened tonight not once, but twice."
The Flames rank second to last in the NHL in goals allowed at 144, but they've shown improvement in that area recently, giving up 14 over their last six contests.
Miikka Kiprusoff had 36 saves to snap a six-start losing streak Wednesday.
Forward Curtis Glencross has two goals in his last 12 games overall, but three in last four in this series. Glencross, with a team-high 15 goals, had two goals and an assist in a 5-4 home loss to Anaheim on Jan. 21.
The Ducks' Viktor Fasth stopped 29 shots in a 4-0 win over the Flames on March 8.
Defenseman Cam Fowler, who has missed two games because of an upper-body injury, is expected to be a game-time decision.
|Back to top ↑|