After a quick two-game road trip, the Vancouver Canucks (34-30-12) return to Rogers Arena where they will play six of their final seven games in the 2013-14 regular season.
Two of those games – including tonight’s match-up – are against the Anaheim Ducks (47-28-8). Both teams are coming off overtime losses in their last outings – the Canucks 3-2 in Colorado on Thursday while Anaheim fell 4-3 in Edmonton last night.
Zack Kassian brings a two-game goal-scoring streak and three-game point streak (2+4=6) into action tonight while David Booth is also on a three-game point run (3+1=4). Tom Sestito leads all Canucks with a pair of goals against the Ducks this season.
The Canucks have scored 2 or more goals in 10 straight games and have 30 total goals in that span (3.0 per game). That’s a stark contrast to the 51 goals they had scored in the 30 games prior to that (1.7/per game).
Kevin Bieksa, who left Thursday’s game, with a leg injury took part in the full morning skate and worked with the top power play unit. He says he hopes to play. Frank Corrado also took part in the morning skate and is available if need be.
Eddie Lack will make his 16th straight start tonight. Lack set career-highs for shots faced (49) and saves (45) in a 4-3 overtime loss in Anaheim on January 5th. This will be Lack’s fourth start of the season against the Ducks – and he’s had four different back-ups: Luongo, Laurie, Eriksson and Markstrom.
The Ducks fired 51 shots at Oilers netminder Ben Scrivens including seven in overtime last night, but couldn’t get the goal they needed. The OTL leaves them with a record of 4-4-3 in their past 11 games. Anaheim has dropped its past three games that required overtime or a shootout. The team’s last victory beyond regulation was a 4-3 win over the Canucks on January 5th.
The Ducks are second in the league in total goals scored (232) as well as 5-on-5 goals (168). Ryan Getzlaf sits second in NHL scoring with 80 points (30+50). A work-horse most nights, the Ducks captain logged a season-high 27:07 of ice-time last night in Edmonton. Corey Perry is tied for second in the league with 37 goals and has a share of the league-lead with nine game winners. Perry led the Ducks with seven shots on goal and 12 shot attempts last night in Edmonton. He has 20 shots on goal in his past three games.
Matthieu Perrault carries the hot hand into tonight’s game. He scored his career-best 17th goal of the season and had an assist last night. He now has 5+3=8 on a seven-game point streak.
In his 22nd and final NHL season, Teemu Selanne played career-game 1445 last night in Edmonton, but will not suit up tonight.
The Ducks are 20th in the NHL in both power play (16.5%) and penalty kill (81.3%). They are an impressive 17-3-3 in 23 games against Pacific Division rivals this season including 3-0 against the Canucks with wins of 3-1, 4-3 O/T and 9-1 all on home ice.
Jonas Hiller made 19 saves in goal last night, however Frederik Andersen will get the start tonight. He is 2-0 with a 1.00 and a 97.1 save percentage in two career games against the Canucks. He leads all NHL rookie netminders with 16 wins. Eddie Lack is second with 15.