The Vancouver Canucks (11-6-2) will close out their four-game road trip tonight when they play their second game in less than 24 hours taking on the Pacific Division-leading Anaheim Ducks (14-3-1).
If you thought last night's game against the Kings was a tough one for the Canucks, then tonight's tilt against the Ducks might measure off the scale on the difficulty meter. As good as the Kings have been all season – and they certainly were great last night knocking off the Canucks by a score of 5-1 – the Ducks have been all that much better and they've been virtually unstoppable lately having won four in a row and seven of their last eight games coming into this contest.
The Ducks, who are coming off a 6-2 over Buffalo on Friday, are also the only team left this season that has yet to suffer a loss of any sort on home ice having posted a record of 7-0-0 at the Honda Center. The Canucks will have to come up with a superb effort, not to mention ward off the effects of fatigue, if they hope to avoid dropping consecutive road games for just the second time this season and to return home with a record above .500 on their road swing.
Puck drop at 5 pm PT – Live on Sportsnet Pacific, THE TEAM 1040, or online at www.teamradio.ca.
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Commit to playing 60 minutes. The Canucks can ill-afford getting off to a slow start or to have any major meltdowns as they did last night in Los Angeles if they want to come away with two points against a Ducks team that can make you pay for your mistakes.
2. Draw penalties and capitalize. If the Ducks have one glaring weakness it's their penalty kill which is only 75.9 percent efficient (although they are significantly better at home killing off 91.3 percent). The Ducks are also one of the least penalized teams in the NHL (surprise!) so Vancouver will need to do some work to get their opportunities.
3. Pancake stays hot. With all the talented forwards on the Ducks, you'd be surprised to learn the hottest Duck these days is none other than Dustin Penner, who was actually a healthy scratch earlier this season. Penner is on a five-game point streak (3-5-8) and is coming off a four-point game on Friday.
DID YOU KNOW?
Ducks forward and future Hall-of-Famer Teemu Selane suited up in his 1,400th career NHL game on Friday in Anaheim's 6-2 win over Buffalo. In the process, he became just the 33rd player in NHL history to accomplish that feat.
In addition, Selanne is only one of two European-born NHL players to reach the 1,400-games plateau. Selanne, along with New Jersey's Jaromir Jagr, are the only two currently active NHL players with 1,400-or-more career games played.
.667 – Win pct. for the Canucks this season when playing on zero days rest (2-1-0).
1.000 – Win pct. for the Ducks this season when they score 3-or-more goals in a game (11-0-0).
2 – Straight wins for the Canucks at the Honda Center, including a 5-0 win in their lone visit there last season.
3.44 – Average goals per game for the Ducks this season, way up from last season's 2.79 average.
7 – Game home win streak to start the season for the Ducks, longest in franchise history.
8 – Straight games without a regulation loss for the Ducks (7-0-1).
IN THE INFIRMARY
For the Canucks…
For the Ducks…
F Matt Beleskey (upper body), F Saku Koivu (upper body), F Jakob Silfverberg (broken right hand) and G Viktor Fasth (lower body) are on the injured reserve list. D Sheldon Souray (torn right wrist tendon) is on the non-roster injured reserve list.
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