Ducks-Canucks Preview


The Vancouver Canucks didn't have much of a problem with the Anaheim Ducks a little more than two weeks ago but might have a tougher time in their next matchup.

The suddenly resurgent Ducks will try to earn their fifth win in six games as they visit the Western Conference leaders on Sunday night.

During its previous game against Anaheim on Dec. 29, Vancouver (28-14-3) raced to a 4-0 lead in the first 28 minutes en route to a 5-2 win at the Honda Center. The Ducks (14-22-7) would lose two more games in a row following that defeat, giving them a 3-9-2 record in their first 14 games under Bruce Boudreau.

Boudreau's team, though, has found its groove with a 4-0-1 mark over its last five games and trounced Edmonton 5-0 on Friday. Corey Perry scored two goals and Ryan Getzlaf had four assists as Anaheim earned its first win on its three-game road trip.

"I didn't see one bad play out there today," veteran forward Teemu Selanne said. "It was overall a very solid effort by everybody. It was the best game we've played all season. We're gaining so much confidence as a team right now.

"The last four or five games, that's the way we were supposed to have played all season. Hopefully, we can keep pushing."

Perry has a team-best five goals over the past five games and is one of three players with seven points along with Selanne and Saku Koivu.

"We are really starting to click now," forward Andrew Cogliano said. "We're obviously quite a few points back. But the more we've starting winning and feeling good about ourselves, I feel like this a team gaining momentum."

Anaheim's next opponent has been rolling for some time with a 19-5-2 record over its last 26 games. The Canucks have also won four of five and concluded a four-game road trip with consecutive victories.

Daniel Sedin's overtime goal gave his team the most recent win, 3-2 over St. Louis on Thursday despite being outshot 33-21.

"It's a sign of a good team when you can have so-so games and still come out on the right side," Sedin said after recording his 700th career point.

Sedin helped the Canucks nearly rally from a four-goal deficit in Anaheim on Nov. 11 with a pair of third-assists in the third period. Jannik Hansen also scored two goals in a 4-3 defeat.

Sedin had a goal and two assists during another 4-3 loss to the Ducks on Feb. 9, this time at Rogers Arena. Bobby Ryan scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner in the third period.

Cory Schneider started that game, but the Canucks are expected to send Roberto Luongo to the net for this one. Luongo, who has allowed two or fewer goals in a season-high four consecutive starts, will try to change his recent fortunes against Anaheim, having gone 2-4-2 with a 4.65 goals-against average in his last eight matchups.

The Ducks might look to Jonas Hiller following his 100th career win and 13th shutout. Hiller, though, also hasn't fared too well in recent matchups with Vancouver, going 2-2-1 with a 3.83 GAA.

Sedin will try to add to those struggles by extending a 12-game point streak against Anaheim. He has 10 goals and 12 assists during that run.