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Ducks Head To Calgary To Battle Flames In Playoff Push

(Sports Network) - A battle for playoff positioning is on tap tonight in Calgary, as the Flames welcome the Anaheim Ducks for a clash at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Anaheim enters tonight with 64 points and is seeded seventh out of the West's eight playoff seeds. The Flames, thanks in large part to a current nine-game point streak, are just one point behind the Ducks in the conference's eighth spot.

The Ducks have won two straight, four of five and 12 of their last 16 games. Their most recent victory came Wednesday night in Vancouver against the Western Conference-leading Canucks. Bobby Ryan scored twice and Curtis McElhinney turned aside 35 shots to lead Anaheim to a 4-3 win over the Canucks. Ryan's second goal, which he scored early in the third period, served as the game-winner.

Jason Blake and Brandon McMillan also scored for Anaheim, while Teemu Selanne added two assists. Ryan Getzlaf also had an assist in his return to the lineup. The Ducks captain missed the last 14 games because of nasal sinus fractures suffered when he took a puck to the forehead during a December 28 win over Phoenix, and was activated off injured reserve Wednesday.

McElhinney will likely get the call in net again tonight as regular starter Jonas Hiller is on injured reserve due to lightheadedness. Hiller is eligible to come off injured reserve and could be activated in time for tonight's contest if he is cleared to play. The Ducks are expected to have a familiar face back in the lineup tonight, as the club re-acquired defenseman Francois Beauchemin in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

On Wednesday, Anaheim shipped forward Joffrey Lupul, defenseman Jake Gardiner and a conditional 2013 fourth-round draft pick to Toronto in exchange for the 30-year-old rearguard. Beauchemin was a member of the Ducks from 2005-09, helping the franchise capture its only Stanley Cup championship in 2007. Anaheim is making the third stop on a four-game road trip tonight and will complete the swing Sunday in Edmonton. The Ducks are 13-13-3 as the visiting team this season.

The Flames notched a 5-2 win over the visiting Ottawa Senators on Wednesday and Anton Babchuk led the way for Calgary with a goal and two assists. Tim Jackman posted two goals, while Olli Jokinen and Curtis Glencross both had a goal and an assist for the Flames, who have won two straight and are 8-0-1 over their last nine contests.

The Flames were strong on the man advantage as the team finished the game 3- for-5 on the power play. "We're a confident group and even when we were down the one goal, 2-1, you could just see it on the bench that we were fine," said Calgary head coach Brent Sutter. "We settled down and we really got into our game in the second period and we stayed with it for the rest of the game."

Calgary is 2-0-1 so far on its four-game homestand and is 16-9-2 as the host this season. Anaheim recorded a home shootout victory over the Flames on Dec. 10 and has taken five of seven overall in this series. However, the Ducks have lost two straight and 10 of their last 12 in Calgary.

For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Anaheim Calling.