Ducks Begin Final Road Trip of Season in Vancouver
Monday, 04.02.2012 / 11:38 PM
NHL.comDUCKS (33-35-11) at CANUCKS (49-21-9)
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: Anaheim 4-5-1; Vancouver 4-5-1.
: This will be the fourth and final game between the teams. The Canucks are looking to even up the series at two games apiece. The Ducks prevailed in their last meeting by a score of 4-2. Jason Blake
scored a pair of goals in that victory.
: Anaheim begins its final road trip of the season. The Canucks are chasing the Presidents' Trophy for the second straight season, but they will have to keep up their winning streak (six games) to hold off the St. Louis Blues, who trail Vancouver by one point (106) in the standings. The New York Rangers also have 107 points.
: Anaheim hopes to snap its three-game winless streak as it starts a three-game road trip across Western Canada to conclude the season. Although the Ducks were edged 2-1 by the Oilers in their final home game on Sunday, fans celebrated what could be the final home game of veteran Teemu Selanne
. The Anaheim faithful concluded the contest with a standing ovation for the Finnish veteran.
"It's unbelievable," Selanne said. "It's almost funny that they are chanting that for an old guy like me. I've always had a very special relationship with the fans. It's just an honor to play in front of the great fans we have here."
The Ducks threw everything they could at the Oilers, but Devan Dubnyk denied them 32 times to disappoint Anaheim in its final home game.
: Vancouver is peaking at just the right time, steamrolling every opponent as it marches into the final week of the regular season with a six-game winning streak and hopes of snatching a second Presidents' Trophy in as many years.
Those seven wins have not come easily to the Canucks as five of them were decided by a single point, including Saturday's 3-2 overtime victory against division-rival Calgary.
That game was decided by an unlikely hero, as Andrew Ebbett cashed in at the 3:53 mark of overtime in his debut after missing 35 contests with a shattered collarbone.
"I'm very happy for the young man," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "He's gone through some challenging circumstances this year with a couple injuries. To see him battle to get healthy, and nobody was sure if he'd be able to come back this year, but he found a way to get himself healthy and come into the lineup, and tonight he pushed his way into the lineup minutes and was able to get us a goal in OT."
: Henrik Sedin has eight assists in his last six games. Chris Higgins has scored four goals in his last five games.
: Ducks goalie Dan Ellis
(sports hernia) is practicing and hopes to play before the season ends. … Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa missed his third straight game due to what the coaching staff calls "maintenance days." Keith Ballard (concussion) is day-to-day, Daniel Sedin (concussion) has missed seven games and defenseman Aaron Rome (knee) hasn't skated since getting hurt in Colorado March 24.