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Ducks host Canucks in home opener

by Corey Masisak

CANUCKS (1-1-1) at DUCKS (3-0-0)


Season series: Anaheim takes the ice for its home opener six days after the Ducks drilled Vancouver at Rogers Arena on opening night, chasing goaltender Cory Schneider in a 7-3 victory. These two teams will only meet one more time this season after Friday -- April 25 in Vancouver. The Ducks have scored at least four goals in eight of their past 10 contests against the Canucks.

Top story: The Ducks will try to open the season with three straight wins, including two against perennial Stanley Cup contenders Vancouver, while Schneider will try to settle in as the team's No. 1 goaltender after a rocky start.

Team Scope:

Canucks: Schneider helped avert a city-wide panic by collecting Vancouver's first victory of the season and stopping 34 of 36 shots against Calgary. He yielded five goals on 14 shots against Anaheim in the opener, and Roberto Luongo played well in defeat in the team's second game.

When everyone isn't zeroed in on the goaltending situation in Vancouver, how the team will find depth scoring behind the Sedin twins is hot button issue No. 2. Three of the team's seven goals have come from defensemen, and those guys could help make up for the absence of Ryan Kesler and David Booth.

Ducks: Speaking of teams that have had problems with secondary scoring -- the Ducks' quick start has been in large part because the team has been getting contributions from each of the top three lines. Jonas Hiller has allowed seven goals in the two games, but the offense looks like Bruce Boudreau's vintage Washington Capitals editions.

Who's hot: Zack Kassian has plenty of pressure on him after being acquired for Cody Hodgson last season, and even more so now with Kesler out -- Hodgson would have been an easy call as Kesler's replacement in the middle of the second line. Well, Kassian has two goals in three games and scored the winner in the shootout Wednesday night against Calgary. … Daniel Winnik had eight goals in 84 games last season between San Jose and Colorado, but he has four in two contests for Anaheim already this season. He and Saku Koivu may be on Anaheim's third line, but they've combined for 10 points.

Injury report: Vancouver is short two-thirds of what was its projected second line. A return for Kesler (shoulder/wrist) has yet to be determined, while Booth (groin) is expected to miss four-to-six weeks. The Ducks have a pair of young defensemen -- Sami Vatanen (foot) and Hampus Lindholm (concussion) -- out, but both could be sent to the American Hockey League once they are healthy.

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