Tale of the Tape: Canucks vs. Ducks (4.25.13)

Thursday, 25.04.2013 / 11:42 AM / Features
By Daniel Fung
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Tale of the Tape: Canucks vs. Ducks (4.25.13)

Tonight’s game is presented by Save On Foods

Team Record: 26-13-7
Last Game: 3-1 W vs Chicago (APR.22.13)

Season Series: 1-1-0
Last Meeting: 5-0 W (JAN.25.13)
Team Record: 29-11-6
Last Game: 3-0 W at Edmonton (APR.22.13)

Season Series: 1-1-0
Last Meeting: 0-5 L (JAN.25.13)

Storylines

The Set-Up

The Vancouver Canucks (26-13-7), minus number one netminder Cory Schneider, close out their regular season home schedule tonight when they play host to the Anaheim Ducks (29-11-6) at Rogers Arena.

What You Need to Know
  • The Canucks close out their three-game home stand tonight and are playing their final regular season home game as well. They are 2-0-0 on their current home stand, including knocking off the Blackhawks 3-1 on Monday, and have won eight in a row at Rogers Arena dating back to March 19.
  • The Ducks wrap up their four-game road trip tonight and are playing their final road game of the regular season. They've won back-to-back games coming into tonight's contest – both against the Oilers - after beginning the trip with a loss in Calgary.
  • Tonight marks the third and final meeting between the Canucks and Ducks this season barring a playoff match-up. The season series is tied at one win each with both teams having earned a blowout victory over the other so far.
  • The Canucks received some surprising injury news yesterday when it was announced that G Cory Schneider is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. G Roberto Luongo will start tonight while G Joe Cannata has been summoned from Chicago (AHL) to serve as the back-up.
  • Canucks D Kevin Bieksa and D Keith Ballard joined the team for practice yesterday but neither is expected to be back in the lineup for tonight. D Derek Joslin will likely make his Canucks' debut tonight taking D Cam Barker's spot.
  • Should Ducks G Viktor Fasth, who is coming off a 3-0 shutout of the Oilers on Monday, get the start tonight, it would mark his first career start versus the Canucks. The 30-year-old Swede is playing in his first NHL season but is ineligible for the Calder Trophy due to his age.
  • Tonight's game is meaningless for both teams in the sense the game's result will not affect either team's position in the Western Conference standings before the start of the playoffs. The Canucks have clinched the Northwest Division championship and third place in the Conference while the Ducks have clinched the Pacific Division championship and second place in the Conference.
  • This game could serve as a potential playoff preview for the two teams involved albeit the earliest the teams could meet in the post-season is the second round.
  • The Ducks are expected to rest veterans F Teemu Selanne and F Saku Koivu tonight. Also not expected to play up front is F Bobby Ryan (illness).
  • Ducks F Radek Dvorak is expected to appear in his 1,200th career NHL game tonight.
Follow the Action

Tonight's game faces off at 7 pm PT and can be seen on Sportsnet Pacific. Listen live on The TEAM 1040 Sports Radio or online at teamradio.ca.

Those away from a TV or radio can follow @CanucksGame on Twitter for live in-game play-by-play.

Keys to the Game


The Canucks Win If...

  • Luongo steals the show. The former Canucks' captain could potentially be making his last start as a Canuck at Rogers Arena so you can be sure he'll be fired up to go out with a bang even if there's nothing on the line in this contest.
  • Corrado has a big night. The newest Canuck rookie blue-liner had a solid NHL debut on Monday against the Blackhawks but even if the butterflies from playing his first NHL game have cleared, he'll still be motivated to have an impact tonight especially with family in the stands watching him live for the first time in his young NHL career.
  • They aren't tempted to coast. It might be natural to take the foot off the gas knowing a playoff spot and division title have been locked up but, that being said, the Canucks still have parts of their game to fine tune heading into the playoffs and there's no better opponent to test their playoff readiness against than one of the top teams in the West in the Ducks.


The Ducks Win If...

  • They win one for Teemu. Knowing this might be potentially Selanne's last game ever in Canada the Ducks will want to put in a strong effort in honour of the future Hall-of-Famer to make sure he leaves Canada on a high note.
  • Their goalie makes a strong impression. With Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth essentially splitting the starts this season, the Ducks look like they'll have a tough decision to make with regards to which one of their two netminders gets to run with the ball once the playoffs begin. Whether it's Hiller or Fasth between the pipes, tonight's starter will want to make a good, perhaps final, case for himself before the start of the post-season next week.
  • They attack Vancouver's inexperienced blue-liners. Between rookie defenseman Frank Corrado playing just his second career game and free agent acquisition Derek Joslin likely making his Canucks debut tonight, Vancouver's back end might have some chemistry issues that the Ducks' big guns can exploit.

Ones to Watch

ROBERTO LUONGO

Roberto Luongo may have been relegated to back-up status for the majority of this season but it looks like he might still have a significant role to play for this team with the playoffs just around the corner.

The 34-year-old multiple-time All-Star, who has only started one of his team's last six games, will be a somewhat surprising starter tonight with number one netminder Cory Schneider sidelined with an undisclosed injury. It could be the first in a string of starts for Luongo depending on Schneider's timeline for recovery although the team is hopeful that Schneider will be ready for the start of the post-season.

Luongo, who could be making his final home start as a Canuck tonight, will be making his first start in the season series against the Ducks although he did relieve Schneider back in the season opener stopping 10 of 12 shots in just over 33 minutes of action. Luongo has a career record of 8-10-2 with a 3.23 GAA and .893 save percentage versus Anaheim.

FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN

Francois Beauchemin hasn't traditionally been thought of as being among the best defensemen in the league but his play this season has definitely earned him consideration to be part of that elite group.

The 32-year-old blue-liner, who won a Cup with the Ducks back in 2007, has been enjoying one of his finest offensive seasons this year. He has notched 23 points in 46 games played - one more than he had all of last season playing a full schedule - while his plus-20 rating is near the top of the league among his fellow blue-liners. He leads all blue-liners on the Ducks in a number of key statistical categories including points (23), blocked shots (106) and takeaways (16).

Beauchemin has been on a bit of a dry spell lately offensively as he comes into tonight's contest with just two assists in his last 12 outings. He'll be looking to get on the scoresheet for the first time in the season series tonight. Beauchemin has one goal and eight points in 24 career games against the Canucks.

Game Notes on Canucks.com are written by Daniel Fung. Follow him on Twitter @daniel_fung or e-mail him at dfung_sports@hotmail.com.