Jan 4, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo (1) sits on the ice with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa (3) after being hit on a goal by Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) during the third period at Staples Center. The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview: Ducks-Canucks face off for second time this season

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The Anaheim Ducks host the Vancouver Canucks for the second time this season tonight. The Canucks enter the game with three straight losses including a loss last night to the Los Angeles Kings. The Ducks enter the game as the hottest team in the league and still undefeated in regulation at home.

Season Series: 1-0 team.teamCommonName

Last Matchup: 3-1 team.teamCommonName (Nov. 10th, 2013)

The last time these two teams met was one of the best games for rookie sensation Hampus Lindholm, including a Chris Pronger-esque long outlet pass that led to the eventual game-winning goal, and also for rookie goaltender Frederik Andersen. Andersen recorded 36 saves on 37 shots. Goals from Corey Perry, Nick Bonino and Francois Beauchemin propelled the Ducks to victory. This was the first in a short stint of games that the Ducks were without the services of their captain Ryan Getzlaf.

PREVIEW:

Keys to the Game:

  • team.teamCommonName: Continue success in the face off circle.
  • team.teamCommonName: Last time they were here, they absolutely dominated the Ducks. Head Coach John Tortorella’s style may be one system the Ducks cannot beat.
  • team.teamCommonName: Secondary scoring led them in their last game when the top line was shutdown. It’s always a big question as to whether or not the secondary scoring will continue.
  • team.teamCommonName: 0-for-8. If you don’t know what those numbers represent, it’s the Ducks’ powerplay efficiency last game.

Players to Watch:

  • team.teamCommonName – LW – Daniel Sedin: Supremely skilled and always dangerous.
  • team.teamCommonName – C – Henrik Sedin: Please refer to previous bullet point.
  • team.teamCommonName – C – Saku Koivu: The CKW line was excellent and last game the CKP line was even better. You follow me?
  • team.teamCommonName – F – Andrew Cogliano: Just signed a nice, new contract extension and has four goals in his last five goals and 12 points in his last 12 games.

Starting Goalies:

  • team.teamCommonName – Eddie Lack: 7-3-1, 2.02 GAA, .924 SV%, 2 SO (Not Confirmed)
  • team.teamCommonName – Jonas Hiller: 19-4-4, 2.40 GAA, .913 SV%, 2 SO (Not Confirmed)

Dec 14, 2013; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella addresses the media after the game against the Boston Bruins at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

I recently watched the Canucks take on the Philadelphia Flyers and it felt like I was a watching a Flyers-New York Rangers matchup from the previous few years. Tortorella’s style has been successful for a long time. They are very aggressive on the forecheck and blocked a METRIC TON of shots. Then, couple that with goaltending that always seems to be good no matter who is in net and skill up front like the Sedin’s and you have a very difficult team to beat. Ryan Kesler is having another solid year and Mike Santorelli is having a career year, but that would happen when he started playing with the Sedin’s. Defensemen Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa have been excellent on the blue line and guys like Jason Garrison and Chris Higgins have provided good complimentary offense.

For the Ducks, their last game was against the woeful Edmonton Oilers. You could tell that the Oilers were one of the worst teams in the league. They didn’t give the Ducks any problems whatsoever. Well, they did go 0-for-8 on the powerplay but you could say that was self inflicted by the Ducks. Tonight’s going to be a whole other animal. The Canucks always give the Ducks a fight, especially at the Pond. There’s going to be a lot of Canucks fans there again so it’s going to be like a playoff atmosphere tonight. The Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry-Jakob Silfverberg line had it’s chances against the Oilers but just didn’t seem to have the finishing touch. Therefore, the newly formed Andrew Cogliano-Saku Koivu-Kyle Palmieri line took over and were the best combination all night. Tonight, that line may very well be the line Bruce Boudreau plays against the Sedin twins the most. Also, the checking line of Matt Beleskey-Nick Bonino-Tim Jackman was very effective in a forechecking/grinding role and the line combined for a well-earned goal. Getcho’ popcorn ready because it should be a good one tonight!

Team Stats:

team.teamCommonName Stats team.teamCommonName
43 GP 43
30 W 23
8 L 13
5 OT 7
65 P 53
0.756 P% 0.616
3.26 G/G 2.60
2.42 GA/G 2.30
14.1 PP% 14.8
81.0 PK% 89.4
32.1 S/G 32.0
27.6 SA/G 28.5
48.9 FO% 51.0

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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Andrew Cogliano Bruce Boudreau Chris Higgins Corey Perry Dan Hamhuis Daniel Sedin Eddie Lack Francois Beauchemin Frederik Andersen Hampus Lindholm Henrik Sedin Jakob Silfverberg Jason Garrison John Tortorella Jonas Hiller Kevin Bieksa Kyle Palmieri Matt Beleskey Mike Santorelli NHL Nick Bonino Ryan Getzlaf Ryan Kesler Saku Koivu Tim Jackman Vancouver Canucks

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