Flames put Ducks in a row

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

About that saying "revenge is a dish best served cold" -- does that mean cold, as in ice?

Can it mean on ice?

Actually, it doesn't matter in the Flames camp right now.

Although tonight's meeting (Saddledome, 7:30 p.m.) with the Anaheim Ducks is their first crack at avenging last spring's playoff result -- a seventh-game loss in the opening round -- the Flames aren't using revenge for motivation.

"Maybe if we'd have played better at the start you could consider looking for revenge but it's just about being desperate for wins," said Calgary defenceman Rhett Warrener. "It doesn't matter who we play, we have to gain some ground and get some points."

The last time the Flames saw the Ducks at the Saddledome, they still had Mighty in their name and didn't have the mighty Chris Pronger in their lineup.

Anaheim arrives tonight atop the Western Conference standings, yet to lose in regulation time going into last night's encounter in Vancouver.

Knowing just how good an opponent the Ducks are, said Warrener, was much more important than trying to avenge a past defeat.

"It puts them on the radar for everybody they play," he said. "It's like going up against a no-hitter, you want to be the guy that gets the hit."

Certainly the Flames will face the Ducks feeling much better about themselves than a week ago. Their modest two-game winning streak doesn't conjure images of a Stanley Cup parade but at least there are signs a corner has been turned.

"We've played more as a team," Warrener said. "We're a good team if everyone's going."

A little more than a month into the season, the situation isn't do-or-die for the Flames but a loss against the Ducks and another tomorrow in Vancouver would be a giant step backward.

A pair of wins, though, and the Flames are at .500 and most likely within a few points of a playoff spot.

"It's a big weekend," said head coach Jim Playfair. "We've got a lot of work ahead of us."

FRIESEN ON MEND:

Left wing Jeff Friesen has recovered from the flu that kept him out of last game but is now on the shelf due to a hip injury, Playfair said.

Friesen collided with St. Louis Blues forward Keith Tkachuk Saturday.

It will likely keep him out of action this weekend.


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