Morning Report: Pacific Division Rematch
Another sold-out crowd is expected to converge upon Honda Center for tonight’s game against the visiting Vancouver Canucks.
It’s the finale of a brief two-game homestand for the Ducks, who will embark on a two-game road trip tomorrow for back-to-back games in Chicago and St. Louis on Friday and Saturday, respectively. But the Ducks aren’t looking ahead to the road trip just yet.
“[The Canucks] are a very skilled team and they have some size,” said forward Jakob Silfverberg. “We’ve got to be prepared for that. They played really hard against LA, and it’s something we have to expect. We have to play even harder.”
“We’re both deep teams, and the games can go either way,” said Nick Bonino. “It comes down to the will. So far, we’ve had that.”
Two nights ago, the Canucks and Kings combined for 109 penalty minutes, 69 of which were earned by Vancouver. Though the Canucks came out on the wrong end of a 1-0 final, the message was clearly sent. When asked if he expects the same kind of nastiness tonight, head coach Bruce Boudreau said he wants his team prepared for anything.
“I don’t know what to expect from that team,” he said. “They’re a real good team. They have two guys in there that didn’t play against us last time, and they took us to overtime. The best way to prepare is to be prepared for everything.”
GETZLAF, HILLER UPDATE
After sitting out Sunday’s game against the Red Wings, captain Ryan Getzlaf is expected to return to the lineup tonight against the Canucks, according to head coach Bruce Boudreau. Getzlaf blocked a shot with his foot in Saturday's game in Phoenix, and sat out the third period. X-rays came back negative.
But it’ll be a game-time decision for goaltender Jonas Hiller, who didn't participate in the morning skate due to illness. Frederik Andersen, freshly recalled from Norfolk of the American Hockey League, is expected to get the nod in net tonight.
Anaheim and Vancouver play the third of a five-game season series tonight at Honda Center. The season series opened with consecutive games in Anaheim, including a 3-1 Ducks win on Nov. 10 and a 4-3 OT Ducks win on Jan. 5. Anaheim is 34-35-15 all-time vs. Vancouver (16-15-11 mark in Orange County). Following tonight's game, the season series will conclude with a pair of games in Vancouver on Mar. 29 and Apr. 7.