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Flames @ Ducks Preview: Hiller Returns

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But more importantly, can the Ducks hold off the Comeback Kids?

AWKWARD!
AWKWARD!
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks scored a confidence-boosting regulation win against the Coyotes at home on Sunday night, but will they be able to continue the momentum today? Despite a game that was strong overall, the Ducks showed some mental lapses. Yet, we have a history of dominating Calgary at home - the Flames are 0-13-5 at Honda Center since a 5-1 victory on January 19, 2004.* Will the middle-of-the-pack Flames of yore show up tonight, or will the Ducks deal with the tenacious and resilient Flames squad that has been revitalized by new additions like former Boston College forward Johnny Gaudreau?

*For context, this is when Jarome Iginla was at his peak, and the Flames went to the Stanley Cup Final that postseason.

Game notes:

Though the Ducks faced Jonas Hiller in Calgary on November 18, this is the first time that Hiller will return to Honda Center. This will probably be more significant for the crowd (and regular AC commenters) than any of the players on ice, but it will be interesting to see how all parties - fans, the Ducks, and Hiller - react. I would like to see Hiller play well, but not at our expense.

Much to no one's chagrin, Clayton Stoner is still out with "mump-like-symptoms," and will not likely be in the lineup tonight (though I honestly hope that he gets better soon).  And in case you missed it, Emerson Etem and William Karlsson were sent down to Norfolk yesterday

What Can We Learn From This Game:

As Chris noted in his recap of Saturday's game vs Arizona, the Ducks have showed that they are capable of controlling possession for the majority of the game. However, the third period - and the AC gamethread - showed that the Ducks are still capable of frustrating mental lapses. We will learn if the Ducks can control possession for all 60 minutes of the game. All. 60. Minutes. Nothing less is acceptable!

Furthermore, the Ducks have shown over the last several games that they are more than a one line team. I discussed valuable contributions from Matt Beleskey in my gamethread before the Arizona game on Sunday, but Patrick Maroon and Ryan Kesler have provided an effective 1-2 punch on the second line. Kesler is slowly turning in to the 2C that this team has always deserved (Bob Murray gets a lot of criticism on this blog, but Kesler was a brilliant acquisition). We will learn if our Non Twin lines can continue to contribute at this level.

We will also learn if the top line will return to its usual form. The contributions of the bottom 9 (if that isn't a thing, I just made it one) have been so significant because the Twins - despite huge amounts of effort - have not really been able to make things happen over the last couple of games.

Fearless Prediction:

Hiller snaps Calgary's Disneyland Curse, because it's his first game back ... of course he will.