Anaheim Ducks vs. Vancouver Canucks: Game Preview, Line Rushes


The Anaheim Ducks begin a stretch of eight straight home games and ten straight contests in Southern California when they face the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. The Ducks are 1-0-1 against the Canucks on the season, with each team prevailing once in the shootout. The Ducks have a league-leading 52 points and have a terrific 17-0-6 record in one goal contests on the season. The Canucks have won two in a row entering the holiday break, and they have played only 33 games, compared to the Ducks’ 37.

For the Ducks, Ryan Getzlaf has been spectacular, scoring points in seven straight games and 12 of 13. He is fifth in the NHL with 40 points, and he recorded his 28th assist of the season on the Ducks’ only goal on Friday, scored by Rene Bourque. Bourque scored just his second goal with the Ducks through 16 games. Corey Perry (knee) and Kyle Palmieri (shoulder) are not expected to play. Perry will probably aim to return Wednesday against the San Jose Sharks, while Palmieri is about a week or two away, according to head coach Bruce Boudreau. Tim Jackman is also not expected to play after taking a shot to the head from John Scott on Monday. This means Bourque, Dany Heatley, Emerson Etem, and Rickard Rakell should all draw in.

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

Anaheim Ducks Forward Lines:

Bourque – Getzlaf – Devante Smith-Pelly
Matt BeleskeyRyan Kesler – Etem
Patrick Maroon – Rakell – Jakob Silfverberg
Andrew CoglianoNate Thompson – Heatley

On the Ducks’ defense, Francois Beauchemin logged 22:45 in his first game back from a broken bone in his hand. That was the third highest total on the team, only behind Hampus Lindholm (22:56) and Sami Vatanen (22:46). Vatanen blocked five shots against the Coyotes, giving him a team-leading 81 blocked shots on the season.

Anaheim Ducks Defense Pairings:

Cam FowlerBen Lovejoy
Lindholm – Beauchemin
Clayton Stoner – Vatanen

For the Canucks, they headed into the holiday break with a 7-1 thrashing of the Arizona Coyotes on Monday. Daniel Sedin leads the Canucks with 30 points, while his twin brother Henrik Sedin has a team-leading 23 assists. New offseason acquisition Radim Vrbata, who plays on the top-line with the Sedin twins, has a team-high 13 goals. Nick Bonino, whom the Ducks traded to the Canucks as part of the Kesler deal, has six points (one goal, five assists) in his past 12 games, cooling off significantly from when he scored 15 points in the first 19 games of the season.

Vancouver Canucks Forward Lines:

Sedin – Sedin – Vrbata
Derek Dorsett – Bonino – Chris Higgins
Linden VeyBrad RichardsonShawn Matthias
Alexandre BurrowsBo HorvatJannik Hansen

On the Canucks’ blue-line, Alexander Edler plays a team-high 24:10 per game. Edler’s three goals, seven assists, and ten points are either the most or tied for the most among Canucks’ defensemen (Kevin Bieksa also has three goals, while Chris Tanev has seven assists). The Canucks will be without Dan Hamhuis, who has been out since the last Ducks’ game on November 20th with a leg injury. Luca Sbisa, the other roster player who went to the Canucks in the Kesler deal, will face the Ducks. Sbisa has two goals, four points, and sports a -7 rating for the Canucks.

Vancouver Canucks Defense Pairings:

Edler – Tanev
Ryan Stanton – Bieksa
Sbisa – Yannick Weber

In net, Frederik Andersen (19-5-5, 2.34 GAA, .916 SV%) should get the start, despite a back-to-back situation. It is possible that Ilya Bryzgalov could go for the Ducks. For the Canucks, Ryan Miller (18-7-0, 2.59 GAA, .906 SV%) should be the one to face the Ducks. In the previous two meetings this season, the Ducks have faced Eddie Lack, but with the Canucks having five days of rest in between games, Miller should be fresh and ready to go.

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.