Calgary Flames (13-7-2) at Anaheim Ducks (13-4-5)
|Date & Time||Tuesday November 25, 2014, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Anaheim Ducks -193 / Calgary Flames +175 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The more we see of this Calgary Flames club the more it looks like they really could hang around for a while here and continue to give their fans a sign of things to come. At 13-7-2 the Flames find themselves in third place in the Pacific Division, just three points behind the first place Anaheim Ducks. Calgary will be traveling to Anaheim and this game on Tuesday night will be for more than two points in the standings. The Flames are at the point where it’s clear they’ve still got some additions to be made and some growing to do, but they need to start sending a message to the teams in their conference that the tide is starting to change. Calgary has done a great job to start the year of doing just that but it’s in these head to head match ups where things can really be proven. Saturday night the Flames scored twice with their goaltender pulled for the first time in franchise history as they rallied to defeat the New Jersey Devils 5-4 in a shootout. Jiri Hudler and Curtis Glencross scored to tie the game and in the shootout it was Sean Monahan and Hudler who sealed the two points. Calgary trailed 2-0 after twenty minutes of play but got within a goal on Glencross’ first of the night. The Devils quickly regained their two goal lead and the same thing happened in the third after Josh Jooris added his fifth of the season on the power play. But the resiliency that you see in this Flames club that is starting to get that nice blend of talented youngsters and viable veterans is obvious. It’s hard to win in this league with a team that relies solely on young stars when there’s no older players there to show them the way. In Edmonton the Oilers have been trying to get by like that for a long time and there hasn’t been much growth at all. Under Brian Burke the Flames are headed in the right direction and Tuesday night could be much more important to them moving forward than just two points in the standings.
The Anaheim Ducks come into this game leading the Pacific Division but they haven’t played all that well of late. Sunday night the Ducks seemed to find that recipe of playing good defense and getting good goaltending from Frederik Andersen. Anaheim’s defense has been shaky of late and when you play a team that struggles in that department like the Arizon Coyotes it’s certainly easier to get back on track. Still, it was important for the Ducks to have a game like that and get everyone’s confidence back in their system. If Anaheim plays the way they’re capable they’re the type of team that can just pummel a team if they don’t come prepared to play. Lately it has been the Ducks who have been the ones that look unprepared and we saw it when they blew a game in Calgary against this Flames team last week. On that night the Ducks took a 2-0 lead with them into the third period before watching the Flames score three straight in the third. A late goal saved a point for Anaheim but they know heading into this contest how dangerous the Flames can be. Against the Coyotes it was a dominating first 40 minutes and then a final period of hanging on for dear life. The Ducks out shot the Coyotes 25-10 through the first two periods, taking a 2-0 lead on goals from Kyle Palmieri and Patrick Maroon in the middle frame. But the Coyotes dominated the third, out shooting the Ducks 17-5 and scoring 8:56 into the period to make this a hockey game. Andersen was great in the period and helped secure the 2-1 win. Goaltending has been an issue of late but it’s hard to say how much of that is the fault of the goaltender and how much has been Anaheim’s defense.
This should be a fun one just like it was last week when the clubs met in Calgary. Anaheim is a heavy favorite in this one and typically that would make sense but with the way these teams are playing things are a little more even than most would think. The Ducks should win this one but there’s some value there with Calgary considering the way they’ve been playing.