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Calgary Flames hope home boost will help against Ducks

The Flames are looking forward to playing at home and crafting favorable line matchups in Game 3 against Ducks

There are plenty of things the Calgary Flames can try to change in their playoff series against the Ducks.

But there is one thing beyond their control in the series.

“We’re not going to grow,” said the Flames center Matt Stajan, drawing a few chuckles after Tuesday’s morning skate.

“We’re on home ice. But they’re still going to have the size advantage. But you have a little more control over it. We’ll see how it plays out.”

That would be the opportunity to make the last change, an advantage for the home team. Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals between the Ducks and Flames is Tuesday night in Calgary at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Anaheim has a 2-0 series lead and has outscored the Flames, 9-1.

The Flames are making at least one change: Defenseman Raphael Diaz is in the lineup and defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon is out. Calgary Coach Bob Hartley said forward Michael Ferland is a game-time decision. Ferland missed Game 2 in Anaheim.

The veteran, Stajan, of course, has played against the Ducks in the days when they did not have center Ryan Kesler. Kesler, who was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks in the off-season, has been one of the difference makers in this series and also against the Jets in the first round.

“He definitely brings an element to the team that they were missing,” Stajan said. “He’s obviously not fun to play against and not very well-liked. But he’s effective and it frees up their top guys from some matchups, some favorable matchups.

"That’s why they’ve been so successful this year. They didn’t win our conference for no reason and he’s definitely been a part of that.”

Kesler has six points in six playoff games and is a plus-three. On top of that, he has been asserting his leadership on the bench and in the dressing room.

“Year after year, you see guys step up in playoffs, for sure,” Stajan said. “I’m not in their dressing room but this round he’s definitely been effective.

“They have four good lines. They’re all very effective in their own ways. We have our hands full, no doubt about it. We’ve got to figure out a way to win some hockey games here.”

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