Anaheim Ducks Line Rushes vs. Vancouver Canucks: 11/20/2014

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The Anaheim Ducks conclude their short two-game Western Canada road trip tonight with a bout against the Vancouver Canucks. Things have not been great for the Ducks recently: although the team has earned points in nine of their past 11 games, the Ducks have gone 1-1-5 in their last seven games and have not won a game in regulation or overtime since November 2nd (a 3-2 regulation win over the Colorado Avalanche). By virtue of all the points the Ducks have earned through their overtime bouts, they are still atop the Western Conference with 27 points, but the Canucks could jump the Ducks for first place in the Division and Conference with a win of any sort.

For the Ducks, this will be the first game back in Vancouver for Ryan Kesler, who was drafted by the Canucks 23rd overall in 2003 and played ten seasons with the team before being traded to the Ducks on June 27th. Kesler has six goals and 15 points on the season, both of which are third on the team. William Karlsson is still battling the stomach flu, so he will sit once again while Rickard Rakell will draw in at center. Kyle Palmieri scored his first goal of the season Tuesday in his second game back from a high-ankle sprain and will play on the second line with Kesler. Devante Smith-Pelly will come off the Injured Reserve (upper-body injury) and play, making Tim Jackman a healthy scratch for the first time this season.

According to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, here are the expected lineups for both teams tonight.

Anaheim Ducks Forward Lines:

Patrick MaroonRyan GetzlafCorey Perry
Matt Beleskey – Kesler – Palmieri
Andrew Cogliano – Rakell – Jakob Silfverberg
Emerson EtemNate Thompson – Smith-Pelly

On the Ducks defense, Sami Vatanen factored in all three goals scored by the Ducks Tuesday, scoring a goal and netting two power-play assists. He is second on the team in points (16), and his 12 power-play points are the most among all NHL defensemen and tied for second in the NHL with Evgeni Malkin. Francois Beauchemin, who has not played since November 7th against the Arizona Coyotes, will come off the Injured Reserve (mumps) and play, while Bryan Allen will sit. Beauchemin leads the Ducks in ice time per game, averaging 22:50 per contest.

Anaheim Ducks Defense Pairings:

Cam Fowler – Vatanen
Hampus Lindholm – Beauchemin
Clayton StonerJosh Manson

For the Canucks, they are coming off a 5-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers last night. The Sedin twins are both averaging a point per game, similar to what they had been throughout their careers before their point totals plummeted last season under John Tortorella (Henrik Sedin only scored 50 points last season, while Daniel Sedin only got 47). Nick Bonino is having a great start in Vancouver after being traded to the Canucks in the Kesler deal. Bonino has seven goals, good for second on the team behind Radim Vrbata. He also has 15 points (tied for third on the team), three game-winning goals (most on the team) and a +7 rating (tied for the best mark on the Canucks). Vrbata missed the Canucks’ victory over Anaheim on November 9th with an injury but will draw in tonight.

Vancouver Canucks Forward Lines:

Sedin – Sedin – Vrbata
Chris Higgins – Bonino – Alexandre Burrows
Shawn MatthiasBrad RichardsonZack Kassian
Derek DorsettLinden VeyJannik Hansen

On the Canucks defense, Luca Sbisa will return to the lineup. Sbisa was the other roster player traded to the Canucks in the Kesler deal, and he has two goals, three points, and a -2 rating in 14 games while averaging just over 17 minutes of ice time per game (17:04). Alexander Edler leads the Canucks’ defense with four goals, nine points, and 23:30 of ice time per game, while Dan Hamhuis has six assists, the most among all Canucks defensemen.

Vancouver Canucks Defense Pairings:

Edler – Chris Tanev
Sbisa – Kevin Bieksa
Hamhuis – Yannick Weber

In goal, Frederik Andersen (7-2-4, 2.13 GAA, .920 SV%) gets the start for the Ducks, his seventh consecutive start. Andersen allowed three goals on 19 shots in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Calgary Flames and has allowed 13 goals on 81 shots in his previous four starts. Opposing Andersen will be Eddie Lack (1-3-0, 3.40 GAA, .896 SV%), who has only one win on the year, but it came against the Ducks in the shootout on November 9th. It will be a rematch between Andersen and Lack, who both started the game 11 nights ago.

Jason Byun is the editor for Pucks of a Feather. He can be found on Twitter. For more Anaheim Ducks coverage, follow Pucks of a Feather on Twitter or like us on Facebook.