Preview: Ducks vs Canucks

Background Photo: NHL.com

Background Photo: NHL.com

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks(18-12-7) are set to battle the Vancouver Canucks(15-18-3) tonight. The Ducks have played the Canucks twice this season and have won both contests.

Anaheim Outlook:

The Ducks are coming off a solid 3-1 winning performance last night against the Calgary Flames. Anaheim got goals from Antoine Vermette, Jakob Silfverberg, and Rickard Rakell. The goal by Rakell was his 100th NHL point. He also leads the team with 15 goals this season. Ryan Kesler has scored 12 goals. Jakob Silfverberg has 11 goals. Andrew Cogliano and Cam Fowler each have nine goals.

Given the back-to-back scenario, the Ducks could likely go with the same skating lineup. Any changes will usually be announced closer to game time. One expected change is that Jonathan Bernier will likely start in net. The Ducks currently sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 43 points.

Keys To The Game

Randy Carlyle went with new line combinations last night and it worked. The Ducks scored three times and are now 17-2-0 when lighting the lamp at least three times in a game. Corey Perry didn’t score, but he was able to get some quality chances and had four shots on net. By splitting up Ryan Getzlaf and Perry, the opposing teams now have three lines to deal with. Anaheim will look to bring another solid defensive effort tonight along with a more balanced attack to Vancouver.

Anaheim’s Projected Lineup

Offense
Nick Ritchie – Ryan Getzlaf – Ondrej Kase
Andrew CoglianoRyan KeslerJakob Silfverberg
Rickard RakellAntoine VermetteCorey Perry
Joseph Cramarossa – Logan Shaw – Jared Boll

Defense
Cam FowlerBrandon Montour
Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson
Shea Theodore – Kevin Bieksa

In Net
Jonathan Bernier (Unconfirmed)

Vancouver Outlook

The Canucks came out of the holiday break playing Los Angeles first. Vancouver built a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes on goals by Loui Eriksson and Henrik Sedin. The Kings scored once in the third period, but the Canucks held on for the 2-1 victory. Vancouver currently has 33 points and a record of 15-18-3. They sit in 6th place in the Pacific Division. Daniel Sedin and Bo Horvat lead the team with 10 goals each. Brandon Sutter has nine goals and Henrik Sedin has eight.

Keys To The Game

Vancouver has had a difficult time scoring against Anaheim. The Canucks have only scored three times total in the two games against the Ducks while giving up seven goals. Vancouver is going to need the same kind of defensive effort they displayed against Los Angeles two nights ago. They will also need to limit the Ducks opportunities as they give up 30.6 shots per game which is 10th highest in the NHL. The Canucks are a solid face-off team winning 51.8% of their draws, which is 6th best in the NHL. Vancouver will look to maintain possession after winning face-offs to limit the Ducks offensive chances.

Vancouver’s Projected Lineup (Dailyfaceoff.com)

Offense
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Jayson Megna
Loui Eriksson – Brandon Sutter – Markus Granlund
Sven Baertschi – Bo Horvat – Alexandre Burrows
Brendan Gaunce – Michael Chaput – Jack Skille

Defense
Alexander Edler – Troy Stecher
Luca Sbisa – Chris Tanev
Ben Hutton – Nikita Tryamkin

In Net
Ryan Miller (Unconfirmed)

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