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Canucks Report: Bring on the Ducks

by Jeff Paterson / Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks (35-32-11) play host to the Anaheim Ducks (50-20-8) tonight at Rogers Arena.

It’s the fifth and final meeting of the season between these two Pacific Division rivals and the fourth time the Canucks have faced the Ducks in the game following a battle with the Los Angeles Kings.

The Canucks got a late goal from Brad Richardson on Saturday night to defeat the Kings 2-1. Alex Edler had the other goal on a third period power play and also picked up an assist on the game winner. It was Edler’s second multi-point game of the season and his first since November 22nd against Columbus.

The Canucks are 8-8-2 in their 18 games since the Olympic break. Zack Kassian leads the hockey club in scoring in that span with 3+7=10 followed closely by Alex Burrows 5+4=9 and Henrik Sedin 1+6=7. After his helper on the game-winning goal on Saturday, Kassian now has 2+6=8 in his past six hockey games. Linemate Richardson has 3+2=5 in his past six outings.

Eddie Lack will make his 19th straight start since the Olympic break and has played all but 20 minutes of those games including every minute of the past 13 contests. He is 0-3-1 in four starts against the Ducks this season.

Anaheim returns to town for the second time in nine nights. The Ducks were 5-1 winners here on March 29th. However, this time they arrive on the heels of back to back losses 5-2 on Friday night at home to Nashville and 4-2 last night in Edmonton. Anaheim is 9-1-2 in the back-half of back to back games this season.

The Ducks lead the Pacific Division by a single point over San Jose and tonight is the game in hand they hold over the Sharks. Those teams will face-off at the Honda Center on Wednesday night.

In all likelihood, this will be Teemu Selanne’s final game in this city. The Finnish Flash is 22nd in career games played (1448). He is 11th on the all-time goals list (684), 15th in points (1455), 3rd in career PPG (255) and T-4th in game-winners (110). He has not played in Vancouver since opening night last season January 19, 2013. In his career, he has played 35 games in this city scoring 18 goals and 37 points. Overall, he has faced the Canucks 77 times scoring 42 times and recording 91 points.

Rookie netminder John Gibson will make his NHL debut tonight. He backed-up Jonas Hiller last night in the Alberta capital. The 20-year-old was the Ducks 2nd round pick in the 2011 draft.

Corey Perry scored his 42nd of the season on a third period power play last night. He is second in the NHL in goals this season. Ryan Getzlaf had an assist last night and is second in the league in scoring with 85 points.

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