Morning Report: A Chance for Redemption
It was just one of those nights, and hopefully one the Ducks can soon forget as they close out a three-game road trip tonight in Vancouver.
A win last night would’ve moved the Ducks into a tie for first place with the Sharks in the division with two games in hand. But despite unleashing 51 shots on Ben Scrivens and the lowly Oilers, the Ducks woke up this morning in second place, a point behind San Jose.
Those two games in hand can mean the difference between a likely first-round matchup against one of Minnesota, Phoenix or Dallas, or a guaranteed first-round matchup with the rival Los Angeles Kings.
Depending on how the Sharks do this afternoon in Colorado, the Ducks can have another chance to move into first place tonight against the rising Canucks.
Winners of four of their last six games and six of their last 10, the Canucks have a chance – albeit a slim chance – for one of the two wildcard spots. It’s desperation hockey for the Canucks, and Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is well aware of that fact.
“The Canucks are a great team, and we know how the last game turned out,” he said, in reference to Anaheim’s 9-1 victory in January. “We’re sure they want to come out and win, so it’s going to be a tough game. We need to look forward to that now.”
Rugged defenseman Kevin Bieksa is expected to play tonight. Bieksa injured his leg in the team’s 3-2 OT loss at Colorado two nights ago. The 32-year-old defenseman has 24 points (4g/20a) in 70 games this season. Forward Henrik Sedin (lower body) and defenseman Chris Tanev (finger) are also out due to injuries.
The Ducks have won the last four meetings against the Canucks, including that 9-1 drubbing at Honda Center in their most recent matchup. In that game, the Ducks scored a team-record nine goals, including a six on the power play (also a franchise record).
ONE WIN AWAY
The Ducks are one victory shy of matching the franchise record for wins in a single season (48 in 2006-07) and one win away from setting a club record for road victories (22 in 2006-07 and 2008-09).
Anaheim and Vancouver play the fourth of a five-game season series tonight at Rogers Arena. The season series opened with the first three games in Anaheim, including a 3-1 Ducks win on Nov. 10, a 4-3 OT Ducks win on Jan. 5 and a 9-1 victory on Jan. 15. The Ducks have won four straight games over Canucks to match their all-time best win streak vs. their new Pacific Division opponent (also Mar. 11-Dec. 16, 2009). This marks the fourth time Anaheim has won three games in a single season against Vancouver and the first since 2006-07 (3-0-1). The Ducks have yet to win four games vs. the Canucks in a season series.
Tonight's game can be heard on KSPN 710.