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Canucks host Ducks to begin key homestand

by John Kreiser

DUCKS (47-18-7) at CANUCKS (34-30-11)


Last 10: Anaheim 4-4-2; Vancouver 6-3-1

Season series: The Anaheim Ducks are making their first visit of the season to Rogers Arena; they'll be there again on April 7. The Ducks won all three games against the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center, including a 9-1 rout on Jan. 15.

Big story: The Ducks missed a chance to take back first place in the Pacific Division on Friday when they lost in overtime against the Edmonton Oilers. At least the Ducks know they're going to the Stanley Cup Playoffs; the Canucks begin a five-game homestand desperate for points as they chase a wild-card position. Vancouver begins the day five points behind the Phoenix Coyotes, who own the second wild-card spot.

Team Scope:

Ducks: Anaheim left a point on the table in Edmonton. Despite outshooting the Oilers 51-23 and having a 5-on-3 power play in overtime, the Ducks lost 4-3 when Andrew Ference scored with 69 seconds remaining in the extra period.

Not getting two points against the worst team in the Western Conference didn't sit well with coach Bruce Boudreau, whose team is still one point behind the San Jose Sharks. The Ducks do have two games in hand.

"You have a chance to put these teams away and you don't, and when that happens, you're not going to get what you want," Boudreau said.

Canucks: Vancouver is also coming off an overtime loss, but the Canucks were happy to leave with the single point after being beaten 3-2 in OT by the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Thursday. Vancouver went 1-0-1 on a quick two-game trip and plays six of its final seven -- including the next five -- at home. The Canucks had the day off Friday.

"I really like how the team has just taken each day that comes their way - each day at practice, each game that comes," coach John Tortorella said after the game in Denver. "I thought we played so much better tonight than we did last night. We're still in it.

"No bad news from me here. We'd like to get the two, but that's a huge point for us."

Who's hot: Fourth-liner Patrick Maroon had a goal and an assist on Friday, giving him five points in Anaheim's past three games. … Vancouver goaltender Eddie Lack is 3-0-1 in his past four games, allowing seven goals.

Injury report: Ducks defenseman Marc Fistric (lower body) is day to day. Defenseman Cam Fowler (knee) may not return until the playoffs. … The Canucks are without center Henrik Sedin (leg), as well as defensemen Christopher Tanev (hand) and Andrew Alberts (concussion). Center Mike Santorelli (shoulder) isn't expected back this season. Defenseman Kevin Bieksa (lower body) played only a couple of shifts in the third period Thursday but plans on playing against Winnipeg.

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