Ducks expecting desperate response from Flames' young guns in Game 5

Ducks know they can't afford to underestimate talented Calgary Flames heading into Game 5 of playoff series

You can, in part, track the progression of the Calgary Flames through this playoff series against the Ducks by the impact of linemates, center Sean Monahan and left wing Johnny Gaudreau.

Game 1: No points, a combined two shots on goal, and a combined minus-three rating.

Game 3: Gaudreau, one goal, the game-tying goal with less than 20 seconds remaining.

Game 4: Monahan one goal. Gaudreau one assist. A combined eight shots on goal. Monahan had a team-leading five shots.

Though the Ducks beat the Flames, 4-2, in Game 4, the Flames held a 2-1 lead until late in the second period. As you might suspect, they are expecting significant pushback from the Flames in Sunday night’s elimination game at Honda Center as the Ducks lead the series, three games to one.

“These games are the games when you have to play at your best,” Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm said. “We’re going to see them play at their best and we have to match it. Play even better. We need to redeem ourselves a little bit. I don’t think we played our best hockey in Game 3 or Game 4. We had a couple of letdowns in a couple of periods.”

A big part will start with the Flames’ top line of Gaudreau-Monahan-Jiri Hudler. Lindholm has had his share of tough moments dealing with them in this series.

“We know they’re skilled,” Lindholm said. “They’re not the biggest guys, be close to them and really hit them a lot, I think that’s going to help out. They’re quick and they’re small and very shifty. So you have to be good at having good gap and really have speed when they come with speed against you. We know how to play them.”

There were some lighthearted moments in the Ducks’ room after Sunday’s morning skate. Most of them had to deal with captain Ryan Getzlaf’s 30th birthday.

“I just gave him a ‘Happy Birthday’ and a smile this morning,” Lindholm said.

After all, what do you get the guy who has everything?

“It's not like I can go and buy him a new Ferrari,” Lindholm said, smiling.

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