Flames-Ducks Preview


The Anaheim Ducks can add to one of the best starts in franchise history by continuing their home dominance of the Calgary Flames.

The Flames, though, are riding one of their strongest starts and will try to extend a season-opening point streak to six games when the teams meet Wednesday night.

Anaheim (4-1-0) has recovered nicely since a 6-1 drubbing in its season opener Oct. 2 in Colorado and won its first two home games by a combined 10-1.

Corey Perry scored twice and the Ducks registered a franchise-best 56 shots on goal in a 4-1 victory over Ottawa on Sunday.

"The more we can win at home the better it is," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We've done OK in the first two games of this homestand. Let's see if the last three games can be the same way."

The Ducks will try to win five of their opening six games for the first time against a Calgary team they've beaten in 18 of the last 19 home meetings, including three in the 2006 postseason. The Flames are 0-10-5 at the Honda Center since a 5-2 victory in Game 3 of that opening-round series.

Calgary hasn't won a regular-season game in Anaheim since Jan. 19, 2004.

"(The road trip) is a huge challenge for us, five big games against great hockey clubs," coach Bob Hartley said. "I think it's going to say a lot about our team, and it's going to be a different challenge."

The Flames will have had four days off once the puck drops for this game. They head into their trip after a 3-0-2 start that's the franchise's best since the Atlanta Flames opened 10-0-2 in 1978-79.

The Ducks got off to an even better start in 2006-07, going 12-0-4 and setting what was an NHL record until last season's Chicago Blackhawks went 21-0-3.

Calgary rookie center Sean Monahan kept his club's points streak alive, scoring the tiebreaking goal with 2:43 remaining in a 3-2 victory over New Jersey on Friday. All five of Calgary's games have been decided by one goal or in a shootout.

"If that's an indication of how this season is going to go, we need to be at our best every game," Hartley said.

Monahan, the sixth pick in this year's draft, has scored a goal in each of his last four games. He also has at least one point in his first five NHL contests, the team's longest streak since 31-year-old Sergei Makarov did it in his first seven in 1989-90.

"We want to win as many games as we can right now, we want to have a good start and that's really big for our team right now," said Monahan, whose 19th birthday was Saturday.

Anaheim has won eight of the past 11 overall meetings and took two of three from the Flames during last season's lockout-shortened campaign.

The Ducks' top players have led the way in those recent matchups. Perry has six goals and eight assists in his last 10 games against the Flames, and Ryan Getzlaf has five goals and nine assists in the previous 11.

Calgary's Curtis Glencross has eight goals and six assists in his past 16 games against Anaheim but did not record a point in his final two last season.