Two nights after a scary situation on their home ice, the much-improved Anaheim Ducks will return to their building on Thursday to face the Calgary Flames.
The Ducks and St. Louis Blues barely played 12 minutes in Tuesday’s game at Anaheim when Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester had a cardiac episode on the team’s bench following the completion of a shift and collapsed behind the boards.
Emergency medical personnel attended to Bouwmeester immediately and reports indicated he regained consciousness before he was taken to a local hospital. Bouwmeester’s condition was much improved by Wednesday as he remained in California.
With both teams shaken at the time of the incident, the game was postponed. A reschedule date has not been determined.
It was supposed to be the first game back on home ice for the Ducks after something of a historic road trip. Anaheim registered points in all five road games (3-0-2), the first time they have done that on a five-game trip in 17 years, and just the third time in their history.
It was the first time they had registered points in five consecutive games, regardless of location, since a five-game winning streak Nov. 27-Dec. 5, 2018.
“We’ve been at the opposite end of point streaks, now we’re gaining some,” Ducks defenseman Michael Del Zotto said, according to nhl.com. “We may not have our best game every single night, but part of maturing as a hockey club is to get one or two points in those games, especially on the road as well.”
Doing it at home will be the trick. The Ducks are 12-10-3 on home ice despite starting the season with a 6-1-0 mark at home.
The Flames will look to complete a successful road trip following a dreadful homestand where they lost all three games. All the Flames did was leave Calgary and record 6-2 victories at Vancouver on Saturday and at San Jose on Monday.
The Flames played the first game of a back-to-back Wednesday at Los Angeles but couldn’t get their offense going in a 5-3 defeat to the Kings. Elias Lindholm had two third-period goals and now has 24 on the season. Calgary still has a chance for a 3-1-0 trip.
“I think the guys have done a great job of insulating themselves and pulling all together in the absences of a couple good players,” Flames coach Geoff Ward said, according to nhl.com.
Calgary is playing without injured defensemen Mark Giordano and Travis Hamonic, with Michael Stone’s role suddenly increased after repeatedly being a healthy scratch. Stone played 20 minutes Wednesday.
In his ninth NHL season, the last four with the Flames, Stone has leaned on his experience.
“Yeah, you wonder if you’re going to get that opportunity, but I never doubted my capability of being able to do it,” Stone said, according to the Calgary Herald. “I know exactly what I need to do. I need to play the same way that I play when I don’t play as many minutes. I’m just playing more minutes — same game.”
After not seeing action in four games, forward Zac Rinaldo also was pressed into duty against the Sharks on Monday as Sam Bennett had the flu. Rinaldo had an assist to go along with a third-period goal. He saw just 6:42 of ice time Wednesday.
–Field Level Media