Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau isn't surprised that Anaheim's turnaround coincides with Ryan Getzlaf's improvement.
Getzlaf will look to extend his surge and spark the Ducks to another win over the Calgary Flames on Monday night.
Anaheim (27-19-8) finished with the most points in the Western Conference last season, so entering the Christmas break with the fewest was stunning.
The Ducks, however, have lately looked more like the team that won three straight Pacific Division titles, going 15-4-2 following the layoff to vault it into third place in the division – one point back of second-place San Jose.
Getzlaf has been the catalyst, collecting 19 points over the last 15 games while getting at least one in 13. The captain had 23 points through the first 35 games.
“When he was struggling at the beginning of the year, we were struggling,” Boudreau said. “When he's going pretty well right now, we're not going too bad right now.”
Getzlaf has two points in each of the first four on this season-high seven-game trip after scoring in overtime of a 3-2 win at Chicago on Saturday.
He's not likely to slow down since he's got 54 points in 52 career meetings against the Flames, including the playoffs. Getzlaf matched his career high with five assists in a 5-3 win Nov. 24, but he didn't have any points in a 1-0 win at Calgary on Dec. 29.
John Gibson only needed to make 14 saves in that matchup, but it's unknown if he'll be back in net after an upper-body injury forced him to leave Saturday after two periods. He stopped 16 of 17 shots before Frederik Andersen had five saves in the third.
“The one thing that we have is two great goaltenders,” Getzlaf said. “Obviously, Gibby went down. Freddie was able to come in and give us a couple of key saves.”
While reports claim Gibson's injury isn't serious, Andersen could get the call. He's 7-0-1 with a 1.83 goals-against average in his last nine games, but he had 16 saves in a 4-3 shootout loss in his only start at Scotiabank Saddledome on Nov. 18, 2014.
Anaheim has won nine of its last 11 matchups with the Flames, including a five-game victory in the second round last year.
The Flames (25-26-3), eight points out of playoff position, are trying to bounce back from Friday's 4-1 loss at Arizona which halted their three-game winning streak.
Like the Ducks, Calgary also has a problem in net. Karri Ramo is on injured reserve with a knee injury, which forced him to exit late in the third period of Thursday's 6-5 shootout win at San Jose. He surrendered five goals on 34 shots, while Jonas Hiller had 31 stops after getting the nod the following day.
He's 4-2-1 with a 2.06 GAA over his last eight games.
“You're not allowed to lose too many games now until the end of the year,” Hiller told the team's official website. “If you don't play well as a goalie, you can easily lose a game for your team.
“You aren't allowed to have too many bad games right now.”
Hiller has lost all three decisions with a 4.31 GAA over his last four starts against the Flames.
Johnny Gaudreau leads Calgary with 51 points, and his 21 goals are also a team high and three shy of his personal best set last year. He has one goal in the past eight games after collecting 15 with 10 assists over the previous 21.
Gaudreau has no points in two matchups with the Ducks this season.