The Anaheim Ducks are obliterating the Calgary Flames in Game 1, and it appears as though the Flames lost some players to injury, too.
Calgary updated that Jiri Hudler and Michael Ferland won’t return tonight after suffering … whatever injuries they are dealing with. (It’s the playoffs, this is about as robust as updates are going to get while a team is still active.)
As bad as the Flames are looking, this Game 1 loss would be more significant if these players miss time, especially Hudler. The 31-year-old topped all Calgary scorers with 76 points in the regular season and has been a key part of a fantastic line with youngsters Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.
Perhaps there will be a more detailed update regarding those banged-up Flames after the game, but don’t hold your breath.
If Jonas Hiller manages to foil his former team in the Anaheim Ducks, that bit of revenge won’t come with the Calgary Flames in Game 1.
For the second straight game, the Swiss-born goalie didn’t avoid the hook very long, as he was replaced by Karri Ramo after the Ducks took a 3-0 lead. Hiller at least made it through more game time tonight, as he was pulled 22:13 in after allowing three goals on 14 shots after not even making it through eight minutes of Game 7.
Flames fans can at least keep a little hope alive in remembering that their team seems to play best with its collective backs against the wall, as they did last time Hiller didn’t make it through a full contest.
Here’s the Perry goal that ended Hiller’s night early:
That’s about the only positive spin Calgary can put on another shaky start, though.
Calgary looks like it’s making an interesting lineup switch to open its series against Anaheim — Drew Shore, acquired from Florida in January, looks as though he’ll draw in tonight when the Flames take on the Ducks at Honda Center.
Shore, 24, would take the place of Mason Raymond.
The 44th overall pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Shore has appeared in 78 career NHL contests — 11 coming with the Flames this season — but zero in the Stanley Cup playoffs. It looks as though he’ll make his postseason debut on Calgary’s fourth line alongside Brandon Bollig and Josh Jooris, which is an interesting development as Flames head coach Bob Hartley opted not to dress Shore in any of the six opening-round games against Vancouver.
That said, it’s not surprising the team was looking to change things up from Raymond. The veteran winger hasn’t done much this postseason, with just one point in four games; in the series-clinching Game 6 win over Vancouver, Raymond received just 5:39 of ice time and finished minus-1.
The Anaheim Ducks will have some additional sandpaper in the lineup tonight as Nate Thompson will return from injury to face the Flames in Game 1 of their second-round series.
Thompson, out since Apr. 11 with an upper-body ailment, had a pretty productive first season in Anaheim — he scored five goals and 18 points in 80 games while averaging 13:19 TOI per night. The 30-year-old also led the team in hits, with 204, and finished third among forwards in blocked shots.
Thompson’s presence will be a boon for Anaheim as it looks to match the physicality Calgary brought in its opening-round series against Vancouver. The Flames out-hit the Canucks 163-118 over the six-game series, with the likes of Micheal Ferland and Joe Colborne leading the way.
Related: Flames trio of Wideman, Russell, and Brodie are ‘basically our motor offensively’
A quick look at what games will be on what channels in tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action…
Capitals at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN
For the fourth time in five years and fifth time in seven the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals are meeting in the playoffs. The last two playoff meetings between the clubs have gone seven games with the Rangers winning both. The Rangers won three of four meetings between the two teams during the regular season. John Forslund and Pierre McGuire have the call of Game 1 from Madison Square Garden.
Flames at Ducks, 10:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN
The Anaheim Ducks are looking to avoid another second round loss as they play host to the Calgary Flames in Game 1 tonight. The L.A. Kings bounced the Ducks from last spring’s playoffs in seven games. Meanwhile the Flames are in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2004 when they came one win shy of capturing the franchise’s second Stanley Cup. Jonas Hiller, who spent parts of seven seasons with the Ducks, will be Calgary’s Game 1 starter. Dave Strader and Brian Engblom will be on the call from the Honda Center.