The Calgary Flames insist they won't get caught looking ahead to more pivotal matchups over the final two weeks of the regular season
Instead, they say, they are focused only on getting past the visiting Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night
"They've beat us before in our building," Flames forward Blake Coleman said, referring to Anaheim's 3-1 win on March 10. "There are no easy games in this league. If you look past a team, you're going to be in trouble. Our mindset is really strong right now and this team will be ready.
Calgary (35-26-15, 85 points) is two points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference with six games left for both teams.
The Jets face a tough matchup on Sunday against the visiting New Jersey Devils, one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
The Flames are scheduled to visit Winnipeg on Wednesday as well
In the meantime, Calgary hosts the Ducks on Sunday and the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, back-to-back games against teams at the bottom of their respective divisions
"The game against Winnipeg doesn't matter if you don't set yourself up for it," Coleman said. "The focus is on Anaheim right now."
Still, Coleman said the Flames are feeling very confident lately after winning three in a row and four of their past five games
"It's still going to be hard work and it's still an uphill climb -- it's not going to be easy to leapfrog a team in the standings at this time of the year and with this many games left--- but I like where we're at," he said. "As long as guys keep this preparation and buy-in, it's going to be a really exciting last couple weeks."
Jonathan Huberdeau scored the tying goal with 3:13 left in regulation on Friday night and Tyler Toffoli tallied in overtime to lift Calgary to a 5-4 victory versus the Vancouver Canucks.
"We knew we needed that win," Huberdeau said. "After the second period we didn't panic. We were playing well, we were getting chances, so we just stuck with it and came out with the huge two points, finally, in OT."
The Ducks dropped their seventh straight game on Saturday night, showing little desire to match up with the Edmonton Oilers in the 6-0 loss
Anaheim (23-43-10, 56 points) has six games left before it can start focusing on the 2023 NHL Draft. The Ducks would like to be more competitive than they were against the Oilers
"It's the same teams we were playing earlier in the year too. It doesn't matter. It's just the circumstances are a little different," Ducks forward Max Jones said. "We know how to play, we know what we need to do. It's just all about coming together and sticking together the whole game.
Lukas Dostal replaced John Gibson in the goal early in the third period against Edmonton because the latter sustained a lower-body injury.
Dostal was expected to start against the Flames in the second game of the back-to-back anyway. He made one of his 13 starts this season against the Flames in the teams' first meeting of the season on Dec. 23, finishing with 42 saves in the 3-2 overtime loss
Dostal also started the opening game of the current road trip, making 35 saves in a 4-1 loss at the Seattle Kraken on Thursday.
--Field Level Media