Game 48: Canucks at Ducks (1.15.14)
Canucks head coach John Tortorella may have been pleased with the effort of his team on Monday night despite their 1-0 loss to the Kings but, that being said, he also acknowledged his team came away empty as far as points was concerned. Monday may have demonstrated the Canucks have a team toughness that some have suggested is missing from the Canucks but having team toughness won't mean much if eventually it doesn't start paying off in terms of wins especially if the Canucks want to stay in the thick of the playoff race. The Canucks, who have just one win in their last seven games, would love to see their new-found toughness translate into a victory tonight against a Ducks team that has clearly been the class of the Pacific Division.
The Ducks are looking to continue their dominance over their opponents on home ice tonight. They're coming off a 1-0 win over the Red Wings on Sunday – a win that improved their record at the Honda Center to near-pristine 19-0-2. The Canucks are one of only six away teams that have managed to pick up points at the Honda Center this season doing so in a 4-3 overtime loss back on January 5. The Canucks will make at least one lineup change in tonight's tilt with David Booth drawing back into the lineup in place of Darren Archibald, who was returned to Utica (AHL) yesterday. The Ducks are expected to have their captain, Ryan Getzlaf, back in their lineup as well after he sat out Sunday's win with a lower-body injury.
Puck drop at 7:30 pm PT - Live on Sportsnet Pacific, The TEAM 1040, or online at teamradio.ca.
Keys to the Game
Get those second and third chances. As aggressive as the Canucks were in their game against the Kings as far as physical play was concerned, they didn't show quite the same tenacity when it came to charging the net to get to rebound opportunities. Facing another hot goalie tonight in Jonas Hiller, they'll have to find a way to chip in a few ugly ones.
Use the power play. An effective power play was the reason the Canucks nearly knocked off the Ducks back on January 5. An ineffective man-advantage was why they couldn't come away with anything against the Kings two nights ago. The Canucks are 0-for-8 on the PP in their last three games – something that has to change tonight if they are to have a chance to beat the Ducks.
Get on the board first. The Ducks may boast the best winning percentage in the league when giving up the first goal but they can make things much easier on themselves by opening the scoring instead especially considering their opponent's recent struggles with goal-scoring.
By the Numbers
Goals for Tom Sestito in the season series against the Ducks, tied for the lead with Anaheim's Corey Perry.
Ducks named to Olympic team rosters, including two for Canada (Getzlaf, Perry).
Straight wins for Jonas Hiller, tied for second-most in NHL history in a single season.
Consecutive playing time without a goal by the Ducks entering play tonight.
Consecutive playing time without a goal scored by the Canucks entering play tonight.
Consecutive games played and counting by Ducks' forward Andrew Cogliano, the fifth player in NHL history to play 500-plus games to start his career.