One game into the season and the Calgary Flames might need to work out some kinks on their penalty kill.
The Anaheim Ducks, meanwhile, have been pretty solid killing penalties thus far.
The Flames aim for a better special-teams effort while trying to avoid starting 0-2-0 for the first time since 2016-17 when they host the Ducks on Monday night.
During Saturday’s season opener at rival Edmonton, Calgary went 1-of-4 on the power play, but allowed the hosts to convert two of their four chances with the man-advantage. The result was a 5-2 loss for the Flames, who held a 47-33 shot advantage but only had a solid effort to show for the evening.
“I thought 5-on-5 we were pretty strong,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said.
“I think there’s lots of good things (to take from this game). I think our work ethic was in the right place.”
Having played an entire 2020-21 schedule against fellow Canadian teams and not reaching the playoffs, Calgary finally welcomes some American competition. The Flames have won three straight and five of the last six meetings against the Ducks, who they last faced on Feb. 17, 2020.
Anaheim opened this season with a 4-1 home win over Winnipeg, then fell 2-1 to Minnesota on a late goal Friday night. The Ducks have yielded 77 shots through two games, but John Gibson stopped 33 in the opener and backup Anthony Stolarz made 41 saves against the Wild. Gibson, however, is dealing with a lower-body injury, so Stolarz could get a second consecutive start in this game.
The Ducks are 3-for-9 on the power play and killed nine of 10 penalties already this season. A potentially strong sign, at least early on, that this Anaheim group is poised to be more competitive than the squad that managed just 43 points through 56 during the 2020-21 campaign.
“If you think back to last year, it was, ‘Hey, we were close. We played a good game and could have won the game,'” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “Now, the mindset of the team is in a much different place. The good thing is (a loss) does hurt now. Guys aren’t accepting it.”
Jakob Silfverberg recorded one of those power-play goals, and has two assists already this season for Anaheim. He’s recorded two goals with two assists in his last four games versus Calgary.
Andrew Mangiapane and Elias Lindholm each had a goal Saturday for Calgary, which will try to win a fifth consecutive home opener. Mangiapane posted a hat trick in the Flames’ most recent meeting with the Ducks. Star Johnny Gaudreau was held without a point on Saturday, but has four assists in his last five games versus Anaheim.
The Flames’ Jacob Markstrom, who made 28 saves Saturday, has a 2.30 goals-against average in 10 career starts versus Anaheim. Though, he’s never faced the Ducks with Calgary. However, backup and ex-Boston Bruin Dan Vladar could make his Calgary debut in this contest.
–Field Level Media