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Preview: Ducks at Canucks

Anaheim can clinch playoff berth; Troy Stecher out for Vancouver

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

DUCKS (41-23-11) at CANUCKS (30-36-9)

10 p.m. ET; SNP, PRIME, NHL.TV

 

Ducks team scope

The Anaheim Ducks can clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs by getting one point against the Vancouver Canucks, or if the Los Angeles Kings lose to the Edmonton Oilers in any fashion Tuesday. The Ducks, who are two points ahead of the San Jose Sharks and Oilers for first in the Pacific Division with seven games remaining, are more focused on extending their season-long winning streak to five games. "I didn't know we could clinch tonight until you just said something," forward Patrick Eaves said. Goalie John Gibson will be the backup after missing seven games and 13 of the past 14 games with a lower-body injury. Jonathan Bernier will make his eighth straight start and is 8-0-1 with a shutout and .944 save percentage in his past nine starts. "[Gibson] is going to have to earn his spot because the guy that has been in there has been pretty good," coach Randy Carlyle said. Carlyle said he doesn't want the Ducks thinking about the playoff race when they begin a four-game road trip through Canada. "Obviously, there is always pressure for points now in our positon and we've taken on the mantra that we just have to take care of our business and the rest will take care of itself," he said.

 

Canucks team scope

Top-pair defenseman Troy Stecher won't play against the Ducks after sustaining an upper-body injury during a 2-1 loss at the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday. But Stecher, who leads Canucks defensemen with 24 points (three goals, 21 assists) in 65 games as a rookie, isn't expected to be out long. "He was better than we thought he would be," coach Willie Desjardins said. "There might be an outside chance Friday (against the Kings)." Vancouver has two wins in its past 10 games and was eliminated from the playoffs on Thursday, midway through a 2-3-0 road trip. Forward Brock Boeser, 20, will make his home debut. He made his NHL debut against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. Boeser, who signed with the Canucks on Saturday after his season with the University of North Dakota ended Friday, scored the game-winner against the Wild and played 17:52 on Sunday against the Jets. "It's been a whirlwind but it's been fun," said Boeser, who was selected by the Canucks in the first round (No. 23) of the 2015 NHL Draft. Vancouver signed free-agent forward Griffen Molino to a two-year, entry-level contract on Tuesday after the 23-year-old had 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 40 games during his second season at Western Michigan University.

 

Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Patrick Eaves

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Antoine Vermette -- Corey Perry

Logan Shaw -- Nate Thompson -- Chris Wagner

Cam Fowler -- Brandon Montour

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Sami Vatanen -- Kevin Bieksa

Jonathan Bernier

John Gibson

Scratched: Jared Boll, Korbinian Holzer

Injured: Clayton Stoner (abdominal surgery), Simon Despres (concussion)

 

Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Michael Chaput

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Brock Boeser

Reid Boucher -- Brandon Sutter -- Nikolay Goldobin

Joseph Labate -- Drew Shore -- Alex Biega 

Alexander Edler -- Philip Larsen

Luca Sbisa -- Christopher Tanev

Ben Hutton -- Nikita Tryamkin

Ryan Miller

Richard Bachman  

Scratched: None

Injured: Joseph Cramarossa (lower body), Troy Stecher (upper body), Jack Skille (ankle), Jayson Megna (upper body), Markus Granlund (wrist surgery), Brendan Gaunce (hand), Loui Eriksson (knee), Jacob Markstrom (lower body), Anton Rodin (knee), Derek Dorsett (neck)

 

Status report

Anaheim sent goaltender Jhonas Enroth back to San Diego of the American Hockey League on Monday to make room for Gibson. … Eriksson and Gudbranson took part in the morning skate, and Eriksson, who injured his knee against the Ducks on March 5, could return as early as Friday, according to Desjardins. Gudbranson, who hasn't played since Dec. 13 because of wrist surgery, still isn't certain if he will play again this season. Markstrom, who has been out since injuring his knee during the Canucks Superskills event on Feb. 26, skated on the road trip, but Desjardins said Tuesday they might shut him down for the rest of the season.

 

Who's hot

Getzlaf has 20 points (three goals, 17 assists) in his past 12 games. … Horvat has three assists in his past two games.

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