NHL Hockey

Visit to Flames up next for resilient Ducks

If any team can sum up the absurdity of the turtle derby that is the Western Conference wild-card playoff race, it's the Anaheim Ducks.

Somehow, the Ducks are still in the chase, despite losing seven straight games in regulation from Jan. 20 to Feb. 9, capping a horrific 2-15-4 run, after which head coach Randy Carlyle was fired on Feb. 10.

Thanks to a two-game winning streak and victories in three of four outings since general manager Bob Murray added interim head coach to his title, the Ducks are within striking distance of a postseason spot with one-quarter of the season remaining.

"I'm just happy the guys are competing and working again and having some fun," Murray told the Orange County Register. "I'm glad we're having some success. We're competing for pucks. It's not one-and-done anymore. We're competing, and we're keeping pucks alive."

The Ducks (24-27-9, 57 points) will look to pull a little closer on Friday when they visit the Calgary Flames. Anaheim is coming off a workmanlike 4-0 win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday to kick off a four-game road swing.

"This is kind of a year when teams are clumped together and not reaching out and taking hold of a position," goalie Ryan Miller said. "We didn't do a very good job in the last month and a half, two months. Luckily, there's a lot of hockey to be played... and we have to keep building when we can."

The Ducks certainly have veteran savvy to help amid the slow-speed playoff chase. Their core has been part of plenty of success over the years, including five consecutive Pacific Division titles through to 2016-17 and a second-place finish last season.

They also have a solid sense of confidence now that leading goal scorer Jakob Silfverberg has reportedly inked a five-year contract extension worth $5.25 million annually that will kick in next season -- a deal which can't be officially signed until after Monday's NHL trade deadline.

Silfverberg has elevated his game of late, scoring four times in as many games.

"I don't think it's just me, but it's the whole team," Silfverberg said. "I think we're all playing with a lot more energy. We've got some extra jump in our legs. I think we're playing with more confidence. I don't think it's just me who feels that, but I think it's the whole team."

The Ducks will face a Flames squad that appears to have regained its mojo. Calgary has won three straight, the latest a 4-2 victory over the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Islanders -- a score that flattered the Islanders, who were outshot 32-19.

More importantly, the Flames (37-16-7, 81 points) are showing more of the form they had in December and January, as they rocketed to the top of the Western Conference.

"Even in that span where we weren't playing our best -- and I'm always one to look on the bright side of things -- we were still collecting points," defenseman Travis Hamonic said after beating the Islanders. "We felt like we were doing some good things, but some of the results weren't there. I think we've done well all season with that. Win, loss, we reset and reboot."

Still, as the Flames ready to punch their playoff ticket, the message will be to firm up their defensive play.

"We're going to have to be that airtight going forward," coach Bill Peters said. "We're capable of it and we're capable of still being dangerous offensively at the same time as being sound defensively."

--Field Level Media

Updated February 21, 2019

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Teams Score Time
NCAA FB
Appalachian State   3:30pm
North Carolina  
Ball State   7:00pm
NC State  
NFL
Carolina   Sun 4:05pm
Arizona  
NHL
Carolina   7:00pm
Washington  
Teams Score Time
Air Force 19 F
Boise State 30
Utah 23 F
USC 30
Boston College   12:00pm
Rutgers  
California   12:00pm
Ole Miss  
Elon   12:00pm
Wake Forest  
LSU   12:00pm
Vanderbilt  
Michigan   12:00pm
Wisconsin  
Southern Mississippi   12:00pm
Alabama  
Tennessee   12:00pm
Florida  
Western Michigan   12:00pm
Syracuse  
Appalachian State   3:30pm
North Carolina  
Auburn   3:30pm
Texas A&M  
Louisville   3:30pm
Florida State  
Miami (OH)   3:30pm
Ohio State  
SMU   3:30pm
TCU  
UCF   3:30pm
Pittsburgh  
Washington   3:30pm
BYU  
Central Michigan   4:00pm
Miami  
Ball State   7:00pm
NC State  
Old Dominion   7:00pm
Virginia  
Oregon   7:00pm
Stanford  
Charlotte   7:30pm
Clemson  
Oklahoma State   7:30pm
Texas  
Notre Dame   8:00pm
Georgia  
Colorado   10:00pm
Arizona State  
UCLA   10:30pm
Washington State  
Teams Score Time
Interleague
Philadelphia 2 F
Cleveland 5
Philadelphia   7:10pm
Cleveland  
American League
Seattle 3 F
Baltimore 5
Toronto 4 F
New York 3
Boston 4 F
Tampa Bay 5
Chicago 10 F
Detroit 1
Kansas City 3 F
Minnesota 4
Los Angeles 4 F
Houston 6
Texas 0 F
Oakland 8
Toronto   1:05pm
New York  
Boston   6:10pm
Tampa Bay  
Chicago   6:10pm
Detroit  
Seattle   7:05pm
Baltimore  
Kansas City   7:10pm
Minnesota  
Los Angeles   7:10pm
Houston  
Texas   9:07pm
Oakland  
National League
St. Louis 2 F
Chicago 1
New York 8 F
Cincinnati 1
Washington 6 F
Miami 4
San Francisco 0 F
Atlanta 6
Pittsburgh 1 F
Milwaukee 10
Arizona 9 F
San Diego 0
Colorado 5 F
Los Angeles 12
St. Louis   2:20pm
Chicago  
New York   4:10pm
Cincinnati  
Washington   6:10pm
Miami  
Pittsburgh   7:10pm
Milwaukee  
San Francisco   7:20pm
Atlanta  
Arizona   8:40pm
San Diego  
Colorado   9:10pm
Los Angeles  
Teams Score Time
Atlanta   Sun 1:00pm
Indianapolis  
Baltimore   Sun 1:00pm
Kansas City  
Cincinnati   Sun 1:00pm
Buffalo  
Denver   Sun 1:00pm
Green Bay  
Detroit   Sun 1:00pm
Philadelphia  
Miami   Sun 1:00pm
Dallas  
New York   Sun 1:00pm
New England  
Oakland   Sun 1:00pm
Minnesota  
Carolina   Sun 4:05pm
Arizona  
New York   Sun 4:05pm
Tampa Bay  
Houston   Sun 4:25pm
Los Angeles  
New Orleans   Sun 4:25pm
Seattle  
Pittsburgh   Sun 4:25pm
San Francisco  
Los Angeles   Sun 8:20pm
Cleveland  
Chicago   Mon 8:15pm
Washington  
Teams Score Time
Buffalo 0 F
Toronto 3
Nashville 1 F
Tampa Bay 3
New York 2 F
New Jersey 4
New York 4 F/OT
Detroit 3
St. Louis 4 F/OT
Winnipeg 3
Calgary 2 F
Edmonton 6
Pittsburgh   2:00pm
Columbus  
Colorado   6:00pm
Minnesota  
Carolina   7:00pm
Washington  
Montreal   7:00pm
Ottawa  
New York   7:00pm
New Jersey  
New York   7:00pm
Philadelphia  
Toronto   7:00pm
Buffalo  
Florida   8:00pm
Dallas  
Tampa Bay   8:00pm
Nashville  
Vegas   8:00pm
San Jose  
Boston   8:30pm
Chicago  
Anaheim   9:00pm
Arizona  
Vancouver   9:00pm
Los Angeles  
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 19 Martin Truex Jr 24
2 4 Kevin Harvick 3
3 2 Brad Keselowski 18
4 9 Chase Elliott 8
5 12 Ryan Blaney 23
6 88 Alex Bowman 19
7 24 William Byron 14
8 42 Kyle Larson 15
9 22 Joey Logano 22
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT RICHMOND
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 20 Christopher Bell 4
2 22 Austin Cindric 1
3 00 Cole Custer 12
4 7 Justin Allgaier 2
5 98 Chase Briscoe 5
6 18 Harrison Burton 6
7 9 Noah Gragson 8
8 8 Zane Smith 15
9 1 Michael Annett 10
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 16 Austin Hill 7
2 45 Ross Chastain 2
3 51 Christian Eckes 1
4 2 Sheldon Creed 6
5 4 Todd Gilliland 3
6 30 Brennan Poole 18
7 24 Brett Moffitt 4
8 99 Ben Rhodes 13
9 18 Harrison Burton 9