THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM?
Curtis Sanford gets his third consecutive start after splitting his previous two starts with a win and a loss.
This is the first time since Roberto Luongo
's injury that any Vancouver goalie has received three consecutive starts and both Sanford and coach, Alain Vigneault, hope that will mean more wins just before the Christmas break.
"I think everybody knows that the more you're out there," said Sanford following the morning skate. "The more comfortable you get, the more rhythm you get so it's getting better out there."
Sanford is 2-1-2 all-time against the Anaheim Ducks, who pay a visit to Vancouver, after a 3-2 shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers.
The last time the teams met, the game went into an 11 player shootout with the Canucks on the winning end. Mattias Ohlund scored the winner on October 31st in the 11th round that saw Vancouver pass Anaheim 7-6.
Rob Davison will slot back in the lineup against a gritty Anaheim team, who leads the League in penalty minutes. Davison will dress in just his 10th game of the year, where he averages 12:00 a game and 26 PIMs.
Mike Brown will keep his spot on the Canucks fourth line with Darcy Hordichuk and Kyle Wellwood. Brown shares the lead with eight fighting majors for the Canucks and is tied for second in penalty minutes (64 PIMs) with Hordichuk in both catgories.GOT MO?
Brendan Morrison returns to GM Place as an Anaheim Duck for the first time in the regular season. Morrison comes into the game with eight points (4-4-8) in 32 games.
"He's been a good teammate for a few years for me and a good player," said Alex Burrows. "Once he gets his legs going, he's one of the smartest players out there and I don't want him to be a Canuck hunter now. He scored a few goals against us and he's good player so we'll have to watch him tonight."
In the one visit the Ducks made to Vancouver in the preseason, Morrison scored a goal in the Canucks only loss of the preseason. He was the Ducks fourth shooter in their epic game on Halloween earlier this year but failed to get it past Luongo.
While his numbers this year against the Canucks hasn't been stellar, in just four career games against the Canucks, Morrison a goal and two assists so he's someone to watch for tonight.MISSING IN ACTION
The Canucks have one less player to watch out for tonight with Teemu Selanne on the injured reserve after a cut to his left calf muscle Friday night.
The Ducks recalled center Andrew Ebbett
from the Iowa Chops, Anaheim’s primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League to help fill the vacated spot on the roster.
Ebbett signed with the club as a free agent and upon his recall collected 10-19-29 points with a +9 rating and six penalty minutes in 28 games with Iowa this season.
While the Ducks are one less, they've got a lineup that's not any easier to play against. With the likes of Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Kunitz, and Corey Perry - there's still plenty of talent.
"They're one of the better offensive teams in the Western Conference, they take a lot of pride in that over there," said defenceman, Shane O'Brien, who as drafted by Anaheim in 2003. "They win battles and they're a tough team to play against so I think it'll be a good game tonight. I think both teams are similar in the way they play the game so I think it's going to come down to who wants it more and winning every battle out there."