Ducks know they have to step up their game against Flames

Ducks know they have to step up their game against Flames
Florida goalie Dan Ellis makes a save as Corey Perry sprays him with ice during the Ducks' 6-2 win Sunday over the Panthers at the Honda Center. (Danny Moloshok / Associated Press)

CALGARY, Canada — Two weeks removed from a lopsided beat-down against a team all but out of the playoff running, the Ducks returned to the Saddledome on Tuesday and practiced for more than an hour in anticipation of the rematch.

"We practice like we play a lot. I wanted to make sure we practiced hard and were ready for tomorrow," said Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau.


On March 12, the Calgary Flames (30-35-7) throttled the Ducks, 7-2, scoring the most goals against Anaheim (46-18-7) this season, and prompting Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano to say, "Every guy in the room should be completely embarrassed of how they played."

Boudreau didn't make the Ducks watch a replay of the episode — although he might during Wednesday's film session — and the Ducks responded strongly with road wins at Colorado and the Kings.

"When games like that happen, the better thing to do is forget about it," Cogliano said. "You don't want to bring back the memories.

"I wasn't calling anyone out. I was part of it. It was a collective effort. We all know we played like that, that we had to address the situation, and we did with those two wins."

The youthful Flames have been relentless recently, routing Edmonton, 8-1, on Saturday, and then edging Pacific Division leader San Jose in a shootout Monday.

"If we don't play to our strengths, we're not going to beat them," Cogliano said. "They work really hard, the coach [Bob Hartley] has installed a great system. They play the right way, they're very impressive, and they showed us how good they are.

"It's on us to bring our 'A' game this time."

Down the stretch

Ducks center Nick Bonino said he wasn't even aware the Ducks could formally clinch a playoff spot Tuesday night if either Dallas or Phoenix lost.

"We've known we were in the playoffs for a while now," Bonino said, referring to the Ducks' long standing at or near the Western Conference lead. "Now, it's all about positioning, winning the games we play."

The Ducks began a stretch of nine consecutive games against teams currently out of playoff position by rolling over Florida, 6-2, on Sunday.

"It's a good time to get wins, but teams out of the playoffs have nothing to lose, they're playing hard, like Calgary, and we know what happened last time," Bonino said.

Sudden spark

Since joining the Ducks' first line in Colorado on March 14, Teemu Selanne, 43, has two goals, two assists and is plus-four in goal differential.

Boudreau isn't patting himself on the back over the line shift.

"It was just another yearlong thing of trying something that's going to work," Boudreau said. "The last couple games, it's been pretty good. We'll see how long it lasts. It'd be great if they keep scoring, to be a bona fide threesome.

"I don't want to be Mr. Negative, but that was against Florida. Let's see that line score two goals [Wednesday], two the next game, and take it from there."

The Ducks' other lines during Tuesday's practice were Kyle Palmieri-Mathieu Perreault-Patrick Maroon; Cogliano-Saku Koivu-Jakob Silfverberg, and Matt Beleskey-Bonino-Tim Jackman.


When: 7.

On the air: TV: Fox Sports West. Radio: 830.

Etc.: The Flames are 5-2 in their last seven games, scoring at least five goals in three. Forward Curtis Glencross had a hat trick in Saturday's win, and defenseman Mark Giordano has 31 assists.

Twitter: @latimespugmire