Huselius playing key role for Flames in playoff debut

Updated: April 26, 2006, 9:07 PM ET
Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Calgary's Kristian Huselius has become a factor in his first NHL postseason.

Right Wing
Calgary Flames

Profile
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM G A PTS +/- PIM
78 20.0 27.0 47.0 -9 40

The right winger has two goals and three assists for the Flames, who have a 2-1 lead over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the best-of-seven opening-round series.

He had a goal and two assists in the Flames' 5-2 road win on Tuesday.

"He ended up with a few big points," Flames captain Jarome Iginla said of the Game 3 victory. "He really got us going, got the confidence up and then everybody fed off it."

So the Mighty Ducks may want to pay more attention to Huselius, particularly on the power play, in Thursday night's Game 4.

"Maybe they'll pressure me a little bit more," Huselius said. "If they do, then we'll just do something else."

Huselius assisted on Darren McCarty's overtime goal in the Flames' 2-1 victory in the opener. He scored in a 4-3 loss in Game 2 and then collected the three points in Game 3.

"So far, I've felt comfortable out there," he said, adding that the playoff atmosphere was "unbelievable."

Huselius spent his first three-plus seasons with Florida before the Flames acquired him in December. He fit in immediately and had 15 goals and 24 assists in 54 regular-season games for Calgary.

Although the Flames have the edge in the series, they expect the Ducks to step it up a notch in Game 4.

"As a series goes on, each game gets bigger," Iginla said. "We have a chance now to put a dent in them, but we know that, coming off a loss, they're going to be more desperate."

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said after the Game 3 defeat that the Ducks were outworked. After reviewing the game, he said they also made too many mental errors.

"The mental part disturbs me after watching it," he said.

Carlyle ticked off a string of mistakes the Ducks made, including giving the Flames too much "time and space" on power plays and not having players in the proper position.

"These are the alarming things for a coach," he said.

Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, the 2003 Conn Smythe winner as playoff MVP when the Ducks reached the Stanley Cup finals, has been shaky in the two games he's played in the series against the Flames.

He sat out the opening game with a lower body injury, and both he and the team's staff refused to be more specific about the injury. He stopped 22 shots in Game 2 and then allowed five goals on 24 shots on Tuesday.

Giguere said Wednesday he was 100 percent healthy or he wouldn't be playing because the games now are so important. But Carlyle was noncommittal when asked if Giguere would be in goal for Game 4.

Also, Anaheim left winger Todd Fedoruk is questionable for the game. Carlyle said Fedoruk was in the hospital for observation, was OK and "not in any danger at all" after being bruised in a collision in Tuesday's game. Carlyle said the bruise was to Fedoruk's "upper body" and that he was hospitalized after spitting up blood.

Game 5 is Saturday night in Calgary.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press