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Game 78: Canucks at Ducks (4.1.16)

by Daniel Fung / Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks wrap up their two-games-in-two-days road trip tonight when they close out their season series against the Anaheim Ducks.

If the Canucks were able to play the majority of their games at the Shark Tank in San Jose, making the playoffs would probably be a shoo-in. Last night, Vancouver finally put an end to a nasty nine-game winless skid with a 4-2 victory over the Sharks marking their sixth consecutive win at the Shark Tank. Their success at the Honda Center in Anaheim, however, is nothing to write home about. The Canucks have just two wins in their last seven trips to Anaheim – both shootout victories – and have not managed a regulation win at the Honda Center since January 25, 2013.

A regulation win tonight would give the Canucks the season series bragging rights over the Ducks. In order to do that, however, they will have to find a way to snap the Ducks' three-game win streak and possibly do so without the services of Sven Baertschi, who left last night's contest with a lower body injury. Expect to see Jacob Markstrom between the pipes for the Canucks. John Gibson has been the goalie on record for the Ducks' last two victories although he briefly left Anaheim's 8-3 win against Calgary on Wednesday after being shaken up in a collision with teammate Hampus Lindholm before returning to secure the victory.

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

Regular Season Record

28-36-13 43-23-10

2015.16 Season Series

2-2-0 2-0-2

All-Time Series

45-37-14 42-36-18

Last 10 games

1-8-1 6-3-1

Last 10 head-to-head

4-4-2 6-1-3
 

Keys to the Game

Keep it simple. So far in the season series, the Canucks haven't found much success in games they've tried to fight fire with fire offensively against the Ducks. They have, however, earned a pair of shootout wins in games that ended 1-1 through overtime. Making the safe plays will probably be the key to success tonight again.

Go Bo Go. After a mid-March dry spell, Bo Horvat seems to be finding his stride again lately with two goals and three points in his last five games including a tally last night in San Jose. The 20-year-old definitely wants to finish his sophomore season on a strong note and continuing to hit the scoresheet in these final five games would be a great way to go about doing that.

Beast mode. Canucks fans know more than anyone else that when Ryan Kesler gets on a roll offensively, he can really do some damage. Coming off his first-career four-point game and heading into a contest against a team he probably wants to beat more than any other, the Ducks can probably hop on Kes' back and ride the wave.


Canucks Gameday Road Report, Presented by Toyota

By the Numbers

1

Regulation loss for the Ducks in their last 15 head-to-head games against the Canucks (11-1-3).

4

Points for Anaheim D Sami Vatanen (2-2-4) in the season series, leading all players. (D. Sedin leads VAN with 2).

5

Straight losses for the Canucks on April Fools' Day (8-9-1 all-time).

9th

Time in franchise history the Ducks have recorded 40-or-more wins (third straight season).

12th

Time this season the Canucks will play on zero days rest (5-4-2).

599

Wins that Daniel and Henrik Sedin have played in together – tied for second most by two teammates in NHL history (Niklas Lidstrom & Tomas Holmstrom).


Scouting Report

  • Remember all that talk about the Ducks' inability to score at the start of the season? That probably feels like just a bad dream now for Anaheim. They put up a season-high eight goals against a hapless Flames team on Wednesday and have scored a combined 37 goals over their last nine outings going 6-2-1 in that stretch.
  • The best sign for the Ducks with the playoffs just around the corner is that all their top guns are firing on all cylinders including the likes of forwards Corey Perry (4-4-8 in last 9 games), Ryan Getzlaf (1-7-8 in last 7 games), Ryan Kesler (4-8-12 in last 8 games), Andrew Cogliano (2-7-9 in last 9 games), and Jakob Silfverberg (9-2-11 in last 9 games).
  • The Ducks beefed up their scoring depth at the trade deadline adding a couple of noteworthy forwards in Jamie McGinn (8 goals and 12 points in 15 games since trade) and Brandon Pirri (3 goals and 5 points in 8 games since trade).
  • The only notable name the Ducks shipped out at the deadline was Patrick Maroon, who had struggled mightily managing just 4 goals and 13 points in 56 games prior to being jettisoned. Maroon had been coming off a career-best 34 points the season prior and was also one of their top playoff performers recording 7 goals and 11 points in 16 post-season contests last year so the sudden dip in his production was undoubtedly what led to his departure.
  • The forwards aren't the only ones getting in the offensive act for the Ducks as their defence has been a big part of the charge as well. In their last 17 victories dating back to February 13, the defence has combined for 13 goals and 57 points.
  • The defence has been getting it done at both ends of the ice. Anaheim averages just 27.5 shots against per game this season making them the third stingiest team in the league (only Nashville and San Jose averages fewer shots against per game). They've been even more stifling against the Canucks. Vancouver has been held to 25-or-fewer shots in all four games in the season series to date, including recording just 21 in the most recent meeting on February 18.
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