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Canucks visit Ducks, NHL's best home team

by John Kreiser

CANUCKS (23-13-7) at DUCKS (30-8-5)


Last 10: Vancouver 3-5-2; Anaheim 9-1-0

Season series: The Vancouver Canucks are making their second trip of the season to Honda Center. The Anaheim Ducks beat them 3-1 on Nov. 10. The Canucks come back in 10 days.

Big story: The Ducks are starting to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the Pacific Division, including Vancouver. Anaheim's 65 points are seven more than the second-place San Jose Sharks and 12 more than the Canucks, who hold one of the two wild-card Stanley Cup Playoff spots in the Western Conference.

Team Scope:

Canucks: The good news in Vancouver's 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday was the return of starting goaltender Roberto Luongo from a lower-body injury. Luongo was superb, stopping all 35 shots he faced through two periods and finishing with 46 saves. But after Ryan Kesler scored during a first-period power play, the Canucks were unable to get another shot past Jonathan Quick.

"It's disappointing," Luongo said of the outcome. "I want to at least get that game to overtime. It's disappointing the way it turned out."

Ducks: The fans who've been filling Honda Center have been rewarded by seeing the NHL's best home team. The Ducks enter Sunday with a 16-0-2 record at home, including six consecutive victories; they are the only team that has gotten at least one point in every home game.

The Ducks have been getting contributions throughout the lineup. Forward Andrew Cogliano, one of Anaheim's role players, signed a four-year contract extension Saturday rather than test free agency this summer.

"We’re a great team, we’re in first place, we have a great bunch of guys in the room, and a great coach, who, for the last two years, has really showed a lot of trust in me. He’s put me in great situations and has made me the player that I am today," Cogliano said during a conference call. "There really is no reason for me to even look at any offers or any teams. I have a place here I really enjoy being on. There’s no other place I really want to be."

Who's hot: Canucks forward Daniel Sedin had an assist Saturday and has three points in the past three games. … Cogliano has a goal in back-to-back games and has scored four times in the past five.

Injury report: Vancouver is without three defensemen: Ryan Stanton (ankle), Alexander Edler (knee) and Andrew Alberts (upper body), and forward Alexandre Burrows (jaw). … Anaheim is without goaltender Viktor Fasth (lower body) and defensemen Luca Sbisa (hand) and Sheldon Souray (wrist).

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