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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - The Vancouver Canucks' options are simple: win or pack it in for the season.
Down 3-1 in their Western Conference semifinals against the Ducks, the Canucks will try to stay alive with a victory in Game 5 on Thursday night in Anaheim.
"I don't think it should be that hard to get ready for the next game," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "If we want to continue playing hockey, we have no choice. We have to win.
"To continue playing should be motivation enough."
The Canucks' Brendan Morrison believes they can still win the series.
"If we go out and play the way we are capable of playing, then we have a chance," he said.
Teammate Brent Sopel agreed, saying, "We put a 60-minute effort in tomorrow night, we'll have a great chance at coming back (to Vancouver) for Sunday. It's fun to be in these situations, fun to play at this time of year."
The Canucks squandered a two-goal lead in Tuesday's Game 4 in Vancouver. The Ducks forced overtime with third-period goals by Chris Pronger and Teemu Selanne, then Travis Moen scored at 2:07 of the extra period to give Anaheim a 3-2 victory.
"They did a lot of things well early in the game, we did a number of things well late in the game," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "I think we have to be certain to most definitely focus on the next one. We know how hard they've competed, and I'm sure they will have their `A' game."
Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere said it was good to be back home with a 3-1 lead. Anaheim's only loss was in double overtime of Game 2.
"It means a whole lot. We thought maybe to get one win up there would be good, but we got two wins," Giguere said. "Now we know the fourth win is the hardest, and they're going to be desperate, throw everything they have at us."
Among the things the Canucks hope to get going is better defense in front of goalie Roberto Luongo, who has been screened on many shots in his first postseason.
"We have to find a way to knock those pucks down," Sopel said. "If Louie can't see it, obviously he's not going to stop it. As a whole, defense and forwards, we need to do a better job."
On the offensive side, the Canucks need some spark from twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin, and Vigneault may split them up again.
"They have played so well together all year long. They have been our best offensive players. Right now in the playoffs, except for Game 1 and Game 7 of the Dallas series, they haven't been as good as they have been all year long," Vigneault said. "They seem to be skating in quicksand on different nights.
"I know they want to do well. They want to be the go-to guys. Right now their game is not as good as it was during the season."
Daniel Sedin said, "It's our job to score, that's for sure. It was in the regular season and it's the same in the playoffs. Tomorrow is the biggest game of the year. We have to try to go out and play our best game of the year."
|May 03 '07||VAN 1 at ANA 2 - OT||S. Niedermayer|
|May 01 '07||ANA 3 at VAN 2 - OT||T. Moen|
|Apr 29 '07||ANA 3 at VAN 2||C. Perry|
|Apr 27 '07||VAN 2 at ANA 1 - OT||J. Cowan|
|Apr 25 '07||VAN 1 at ANA 5||T. Selanne|