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Canucks Report: Game Day vs Ducks

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks
March 24, 2010

Raycroft

RAYCROFT TO START

Canuck goaltender Andrew Raycroft will get the start tonight against the Anaheim Ducks.

Raycroft has played in 18 games for the Canucks this season, registering seven wins and four losses. He has only played in four games at home and is looking forward to starting on home ice tonight.

"It's fun to play at home," said Raycroft. "It's the second game of a back-to-back with travel and those are usually the games to give rest on. Being at home, it's definately nice."

Raycroft faced the Ducks this season on October 30th when Roberto Luongo was out with a rib injury. He let in four goals out of 22 shots before Cory Schneider was put in.

Since then he has recorded six wins with the Canucks, and now has a save percentage of .912% and a 2.30 GAA.

"He's done a really good job for us," said head coach Alain Vigneault. "Whether it be coming in during a game or starting a game, if you look at all the back-up goaltenders that play behind goaltenders like Roberto where the number one plays the amount of games that Roberto plays, he's probably one of the best backups in the League. Most of those guys are around 500, and Raycroft's stats win the win column and the save percentage is really good."

Mikael Samuelsson skated at the team's optional practice this morning to work on his skills. He has missed three games so far with a shoulder injury.

It is still unknown whether Pavol Demitra will play tonight after missing the Edmonton game for personal reasons. Healthy scratches for tonight's game for the second time are defencemen Nolan Baumgartner and Andrew Alberts.

CANUCKS SIGN PRAB RAI

Today Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis announced that the Canucks have signed forward Prab Rai.

The 20 year old Surrey, BC native has played 238 career games with the Seattle Thunderbirds since the 2006-07 season. He registered 218 points (91-127-218) overall, and was the leading scorer for the Thunderbirds this season with 69 points (41-28-69) in 67 games.

Rai played two seasons with the WHL's Prince George Cougars before joining the Thunderbirds. He recorded 10 points (7-3-10) in 62 games.

The 6'0" 183-pound forward was drafted by the Canucks 131st overall in the fifth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

GAME DAY NOTES

The Canucks play their second of back-to-back games tonight against the Anaheim Ducks, a team they’ve lost to twice this season.

The Canucks suffered a 7-2 loss against the Ducks on October 30 and were defeated 3-2 on December 16. The series was a 2-2 tie last season, something the Canucks hope to match this season. They’ll face the Ducks again April 2nd in Anaheim.

Both the Canucks and the Ducks faced defeat Tuesday night, the Canucks lost 3-2 to the Oilers while the Ducks dropped a 3-1 decision to the Calgary Flames.

"I watched their game last night and they played a really solid game," said Canuck head coach Alain Vigneault. "Their top guys played hard, they played a ton. They're pushing, and we're going to have to be really sharp tonight."

The Ducks have struggled throughout the season and may not make the playoffs for the first time since 2003-2004. They are last in the Pacific division and 12th in the West with 76 points (34-30-8). However, the Ducks are only nine points away from the eighth place Detroit Red Wings, and with 10 games left, they are not completely out of the running.

"They have a skilled group of forwards and they have a good goalie too so it's going to be a tough challenge for us," said Christian Ehrhoff.

The Canucks have only been able to get four shots past Duck goaltender Jonas Hiller (29-22-3), who has an impressive .917% save percentage and a 2.76 GAA. The Ducks top of Ryan Getzlaf (19-50-69), Corey Perry (24-44-68), and Bobby Ryan (31-25-56) have combined for 193 points (74 goals, 119 assists).

The Canucks top line of Daniel Sedin (21-50-71), Henrik Sedin (28-68-96), and Alex Burrows (32-27-59) have come together for 226 points (81 goals, 145 assists). Henrik Sedin is still the league leader for assists, and is only one point away from Alex Ovechkin (45-52-97) who leads the league in points.

The Canucks are 9-3-1 against teams that have played the previous night, and are 7-3-1 when playing the second of back-to-back games. The Ducks are 10-3-2 against teams in the Northwest so the Canucks will need to step it up tonight.

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