After going through a bit of a funk last week, the Vancouver Canucks are once again looking like a playoff contender. The Anaheim Ducks are well aware of the Canucks' potency.
Vancouver looks to win its fourth straight game Wednesday and complete its first season sweep of the Ducks, who are trying to win a franchise-record eighth straight home game.
With a 2-1 loss to Colorado on March 4, the Canucks (35-24-10) dropped their fourth straight game to fall two points behind Colorado and Nashville for the Western Conference's final playoff spot.
Outscored 12-6 during its skid, Vancouver has bounced back to win its last three games by a combined score of 12-5. The Canucks have moved into eighth place in the West, one point in back of Minnesota and two points ahead of the ninth-place Predators.
Vancouver is coming off Monday's 2-1 overtime victory over Los Angeles, as Ryan Kesler netted the game winner 46 seconds into the extra period after scoring the tying goal with 2:41 left in regulation.
"We knew we were playing a solid game and we knew we were throwing pucks on the net," Kesler said. "They played us hard, but we just found a way to win."
Roberto Luongo turned aside 17 shots in the win and is expected to make his 16th consecutive start Wednesday for the Canucks.
Luongo has a 1.67 goals-against average during Vancouver's three-game winning streak after going 0-2-2 with a 2.82 GAA in his previous four starts. He has been in net for two games against the Ducks this season, making 26 saves in the Canucks' 4-0 win on Nov. 27 and stopping 21 shots in a 2-1 victory on Dec. 30.
Vancouver has outscored Anaheim 9-3 in winning the first three games of the season series. The Canucks, who had lost six of seven to the Ducks (39-25-8) before this season, have never swept a season series from Anaheim in the Ducks' 14-year history.
Daniel Sedin leads the Canucks with 26 goals, but has not scored in a season-high nine straight games. Sedin, though, has scored in each of his last two games against the Ducks, giving him three goals and three assists during a five-game point streak versus them.
|With a win tonight, the Ducks can achieve a franchise-record eighth-consecutive home victory. (AP Photo/Mark Avery)
Anaheim fell to Phoenix 3-2 in a shootout on Tuesday, its third loss in four games following an 11-1-0 stretch.
The Ducks blew a 2-0 second-period lead against the Coyotes, but picked up a point that drew them within four of Pacific Division-leading San Jose.
"We didn't accomplish what we wanted," coach Randy Carlyle said. "Sure, we picked up a point, but also lost a point. On the road, you get what you can, but the puck did not bounce our way."
The Ducks look to get things turned around at Honda Center, where they have won 14 of their last 16.
Anaheim has won seven straight at home, matching the franchise record set Dec. 19-Jan. 15. The Ducks have outscored opponents 24-11 during the home streak, killing off 28 of 30 opposing power plays during that span.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who stopped 37 shots Tuesday, is 10-2-2 with a 1.34 GAA and two shutouts since Feb. 1. He has lost each of his last two starts against the Canucks, though, posting a 3.97 GAA in those contests.
Center Ryan Getzlaf scored his 22nd goal Tuesday, just his third in his last 21 games. He has one goal in three games against Vancouver this season.