Winning on the road has been a struggle for the Calgary Flames for much of 2010-11. They’ve struggled to win when visiting the Honda Center over the past several seasons.
The Flames will try to post their first regular-season win in Anaheim in nearly seven years Friday night when they wrap up a swing through Southern California against the Ducks.
Calgary is 0-9-2 in Anaheim since a 5-1 win Jan. 19, 2004. The Flames have scored two goals or fewer eight times during that slide and have surrendered 16 tallies in 57 power-play chances.
They did post a win in Anaheim in Game 3 of the 2006 Western Conference quarterfinals, a series the Flames eventually lost in seven.
Calgary (12-15-2) has alternated losses and wins in its last nine games, including a 2-1 defeat at Los Angeles on Thursday to fall to 5-9-2 away from home this season. Former King Olli Jokinen(notes) scored a power-play goal late in the third period, but Miikka Kiprusoff(notes) failed in his first bid for his 250th NHL win - instead losing his third straight road start.
“You try not to be frustrated, but at the end of the day, it’s always hard to swallow,” said captain Jarome Iginla(notes). “We have to keep going. This was another opportunity that got away, and we definitely feel it.”
Kiprusoff is 3-9-1 with a 2.84 goals-against average on the road this season, and 1-6-2 with a 3.09 GAA during his career against Anaheim. Coach Brent Sutter could rest Kiprusoff and give him a chance for the milestone win Monday at home against Columbus.
The Ducks (14-13-4) were dominant at home over the first month of the season, but that hasn’t held true over the last month.
The club jumped out to a 7-1-1 start Oct. 13-Nov. 12 in Anaheim, but has since gone 2-5-0 with the last two games shutout losses to Detroit and Phoenix. The Ducks haven’t scored in front of their home fans since Bobby Ryan’s(notes) empty-netter in the final minute of a 5-3 win over Florida on Dec. 1.
“I think we’re just swinging away,” coach Randy Carlyle said after Anaheim’s 3-0 loss to the Coyotes on Sunday.
Carlyle’s club returns home after splitting a two-game road trip in which the Ducks blew two-goal leads before both contests went to shootouts.
Teen rookie Cam Fowler’s(notes) goal in the 10th round gave Anaheim a 3-2 win over Edmonton on Tuesday. The following night, Jonas Hiller(notes) - who replaced the injured Curtis McElhinney(notes) (facial cut) with 8:18 to play - allowed Ryan Kesler(notes) to tie the score in the final minute before Jeff Tambellini(notes) scored the only goal in the tiebreaker to send the Ducks to a 5-4 loss.
“It’s the worst thing that can happen to you as a backup, especially in a one-goal game,” said Hiller, who won the only home start of his career against Calgary, 5-4 on Jan. 17.
Corey Perry(notes), who leads the Ducks with 30 points and whose 13 goals are tied for most on the club, is expected to play his 400th NHL game. Perry has a goal and four assists during a five-game point streak at home versus Calgary.