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Tuesday, December 23rd (All times eastern)

Anaheim Ducks (18-13-3) at Calgary Flames (18-11-4), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - After a slow start to the season, Flames netminder Miikka Kiprusoff is helping his team climb up the standings. Calgary will try to rebound tonight against the Anaheim Ducks at Pengrowth Saddledome.

The Flames lost four of their first five games to begin the season, and after righting the ship with a six-game winning streak went on to lose six of their next 10 as well. However, despite the slow start Calgary enters this game just a point back of Vancouver for first place in the Northwest Division.

Kiprusoff has been one of the reasons the Flames have stayed in the hunt. He posted a 2.89 goals against average in October and wasn't much better the following month, as he recorded a 3.18 GAA in November.

He has returned to his prior form in eight starts this month, going 4-2-2 with a 2.33 GAA in eight December starts.

Kiprusoff helped the Flames get a point last time out, as he made 28 saves but was beaten just 23 seconds into overtime by the Chicago Blackhawks' Duncan Keith in a 3-2 setback. Rene Bourque had a goal and assisted on David Moss' tally for Calgary, which had won two in a row.

The Flames loss came in the opener of a five-game homestand and dropped them to 9-4-3 as the host this season. Calgary is 0-1-2 in its last three at Pengrowth Saddledome.

Kiprusoff has faced the Ducks 15 times in his career, going 8-7-0 with a 2.27 GAA.

The Ducks played their first game last night since Teemu Selanne suffered a laceration to his left quadriceps muscle that is expected to sideline him for four-to-six weeks. They visited the Vancouver Canucks and were dealt a 4-3 setback.

Bobby Ryan had a goal and two assists while Scott Niedermayer notched a goal and assisted on another for Anaheim, which fell to 1-1 on a five-game road trip and lost for the fourth time in its last five as the visiting club. Sami Pahlsson had the Ducks' other goal and Corey Perry added two helpers.

Selanne leads the NHL with 13 power-play goals, but his absence wasn't missed for at least one night after the Ducks went 2-for-5 on the man advantage last night.

Jonas Hiller, starting in place of Jean-Sebastien Giguere for a third straight game, was victimized for four goals on 26 shots. Giguere had returned to Montreal following the death of his father and was with the team in a backup capacity on Monday.

Giguere beat the Flames earlier this year with a 34-save effort and is 13-8-0 with two ties and a 2.21 GAA against them lifetime. Hiller, meanwhile, has never faced Calgary.

The Ducks have won three straight and four of their last five versus the Flames, but have lost seven of their last eight in Calgary.

12/23 10:40:34 ET


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