The Vancouver Canucks return home to start a three-game homestand and their first opponent is the Anaheim Ducks.
The Canucks are coming off a 5-4 overtime win over the San Jose Sharks. They did well in the first period but didn’t do well in the next two periods and the special teams also struggled. J.T. Miller made sure the Canucks got the two points with the overtime winner.
Vancouver sits with a 23-21-6 record and are sixth in the Pacific Division. With 52 points, they sit five back of the Los Angeles Kings for the final wild card spot.
The Ducks have cooled off after a hot start to the season. Their record is 23-19-9 and have 55 points. They are two points behind the Kings and three points ahead of the Canucks.
Anaheim has lost four straight and their last game was a 7-3 beat down at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers.
This will be the fourth and final meeting between Vancouver and Anaheim. The Ducks won the first two contests with a 3-2 overtime win at Rogers Arena on November 9 and a 5-1 win at the Honda Center on November 14. The Canucks won the last meeting with a 2-1 overtime win in Anaheim on December 29.
“This is a pretty important game for both teams, I would think,” said Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau after Saturday’s morning skate. “To me, it has got playoff atmosphere written all over it.”
“It’s a good test to see where we are at as a group,” said Miller on Saturday night’s game against the Ducks. ” We understand the importance of this game and every game coming up, another easy game for us to get up for.”
It looks like the Canucks will be going with the same lineup in the win in San Jose.
Thatcher Demko will get the start.
For the first time since mid-December, Rogers Arena will be at a full capacity thanks to COVID-19 restrictions being lifted on Wednesday.
The Ducks are going to go with John Gibson in goal and Ryan Getzlaf has been ruled out. He has been dealing with a lower body injury.
It is also the first of two nights for the Botchford Project. A journalism mentorship program honouring the late Jason Botchford.
Just like last year, three aspiring journalists get to take part and will have articles published on the Canucks website in the near future. This year’s recipients are Jacob New, Adam Kierszenblat, and Madeline Craig.
Players to watch
Anaheim Ducks- Trevor Zegras: The Ducks rookie has 35 points in 45 games this season. That is second on the Ducks and is tied for second in rookie scoring with Moritz Seider of the Detroit Red Wings.
Vancouver Canucks- Elias Pettersson: In his last ten games, Pettersson has nine points and that includes four goals.
Puck drop is at 7:00 PM. You can watch the game on Sportsnet or CBC or listen to it on Sportsnet 650.