Ryan Miller will make his third start as a Duck, but his first against his former club. Tonight he will man the crease against the Vancouver Canucks, the team he played on from 2014-17 before testing the free agent market this past July. In three seasons with the Canucks, Miller posted a 64-68-16 record, 2.69 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and 10 shutouts, including a 29-15-1 mark with six shutouts in 2014-15.
If the 37-year-old netminder had any nerves this morning, he didn't show it. Miller caught up with a handful of Vancouver media, as well as teammate Kevin Bieksa, who joined the scrum with a recorder in hand.
"What do you got for me, Kevin ...," Miller said.
"You did a great deed for your teammate yesterday," Bieksa deadpanned. "Tell me about it."
"I got this phone call at a really inconvenient time," Miller said. "We were trying to head out and get some food with the little guy. This guy was really desperate and needed his sweatshirt from a restaurant nearby. I was able to get the family together, and it was a team effort." (Bieksa apparently left his sweatshirt at a nearby restaurant, and the Miller family came to the rescue to retrieve it).
On a more serious note, Miller expects his (new) team to come out strong tonight. "We've got to put some points together," he said. "We're trying to grind it out and get back on the right side of things. I would expect we're ready to play a game tonight."
Goaltender John Gibson and forward Ondrej Kase are being listed as "day to day," according to head coach Randy Carlyle, though the latter has been placed on injured reserve. In his place could be rookie forward Kevin Roy, who has yet to appear in an NHL game.
The 24-year-old from Greenfield Park, Quebec was the San Diego Gulls' leading scorer with 11 points (4g/7a) in 10 games. In three seasons with San Diego, Roy has amassed 57 points (20g/37a) in 79 games. He posted 46 points (16g/30a) in 67 games last season.
"It's really exciting," Roy said, on being with the Ducks. "Everyone playing hockey dreams of that moment. To be here right now and to experience it, I feel very lucky. I'm ready to go."
As a self-described "shifty forward who likes to make plays and get the puck to the net," Roy is one of many young players who have come up through the system. Current Ducks Nick Ritchie, Chris Wagner, Kalle Kossila, Jaycob Megna, Brandon Montour and the aforementioned Kase all spent time with the Gulls. "The coaching staff in San Diego really helped," said Roy. "There are a lot of players in this locker room that have been through there. It really helps round out your game to be able to come up at this level and make a difference."
The Ducks didn't take line rushes this morning, so we will have to wait until warmups to confirm line combinations.
As for the visiting Canucks, first-year head coach Travis Green earlier today confirmed goaltender Jacob Markstrom will start in goal. Markstrom comes in with a 5-4-2 record, 2.36 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 12 games. Defenseman Chris Tanev, who has appeared in all 15 games thus far, has returned to Vancouver with an upper-body injury. Veteran blueliner Alex Edler, who has been limited to three games this season and hasn't played since October 12, will make his return to the lineup.
Video: The Ducks look ahead to the matchup against Vancouver