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Game 57: Canucks vs Ducks (2.18.16)

by Daniel Fung / Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks welcome the hottest team in the NHL to Rogers Arena tonight when they host the surging Anaheim Ducks.

After turning in a pair of subpar efforts in losses to the struggling Leafs and Wild, perhaps a visit from one of the league's best will be the jolt the Canucks desperately need to get back on track. Seeing the Ducks might help the Canucks believe that even the toughest stretches can be overcome. Just before Christmas the Ducks sat one point out of the NHL's basement. They have a chance to finish this night just one point back of the Pacific Division lead.

Vancouver is expected to make a couple of line-up changes with Etem and Cracknell returning in place of McCann and Friesen. Ryan Miller is expected to get the start for the Canucks, who begin the day sitting six points back of a Wildcard playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Puck drop at 7 pm PT – Live on Sportsnet Pacific, TSN 1040, or online at tsn1040.ca.

Regular Season Record

22-22-12 29-19-8

2015.16 Season Series

2-1-0 1-0-2

All-Time Series

45-36-14 41-36-18

Last 10 games

3-5-2 8-1-1

Last 10 head-to-head

4-4-2 6-1-3
 

Keys to the Game

No excuses. After back-to-back lackadaisical efforts, there are no excuses left for the Canucks not to be ready right from puck drop especially with a couple of their former heart-and-soul guys lining up for the other side who will for sure be bringing their A-games.

Don't just leave it to the goalie.It's almost miraculous the Canucks have two wins in three games so far in the season series despite only scoring two goals. Netminding, save for one of the games, has been outstanding and will need to be again tonight but the 18 skaters in front have to provide a little more support.

Dial it up on special teams. Special teams has been one of the areas the Ducks have dominated in the season series. Despite Vancouver's recent struggles, their special teams have been faring relatively well so the Ducks need to be ready to win this battle again tonight.


Canucks Game Preview

By the Numbers

-10

Goal-differential for the Canucks during their five-game home winless streak (7 goals for, 17 goals against).

1

Regulation loss for the Ducks in their last 14 head-to-head games against the Canucks (10-1-3).

3

Game point streak for Henrik Sedin (1-3-4) coming into tonight's game.

4

Time zones the Ducks will have played in on this 7-game road trip, second time in team history (last: March 1997).

6

Game point streak for Ryan Getzlaf (2-8-10) coming into tonight's game, longest active among all Ducks.

70

Penalty kill percentage for the Ducks over their last eight outings (9 goals allowed on 30 times shorthanded).


Scouting Report

  • The Ducks didn't advance to Game 7 of the Western Conference Final last season by fluke. After a rough start to their season, they're back to where everyone expected they would be. They have the league's best points percentage since Christmas at .783 amassing a record of 17-4-2 in that time.
  • The Ducks may be more or less the same cast of characters as they were pre-Christmas but this is clearly a different team. In 33 games prior to Christmas, they scored 61 goals (1.85 average) and allowed 84 against (2.55 average). In 23 games since, they've scored 73 goals (3.17 average) and given up just 50 against (2.17 average).
  • The addition of David Perron has proved to be a home run thus far for the Ducks. Perron has 13 points in 13 games (points in nine of 13 games) since the trade from Pittsburgh and is riding a season-high four-game point streak. He had just 16 points in 43 games with the Penguins this season.
  • The arrival of Perron has allowed the Ducks to have success with a formula that hasn't exactly been tried-and-true in the past – that being the separation of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Perron has been teamed with Getzlaf, while Perry has formed a successful pairing with 22-year-old Rickard Rakell.
  • With Getzlaf and Rakell as the top-two centres, where does that leave our old pal Ryan Kesler? He may be listed third on the depth chart but his line with Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg is as formidable as any. Kes, in addition to his penalty kill duties, remains a big part of Anaheim's power play.
  • Speaking of the power play, that has been a big part of Anaheim's turnaround as well. Since Christmas they're clicking at 25 percent (18-for-72) which would put them at the top of the league had they kept the same pace all season. Prior to Christmas, they were clicking at just 15.7 percent (14-for-89).
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