NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, April 7th (All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (50-20-8) at Vancouver Canucks (35-32-11), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Anaheim Ducks will try to halt a two-game slide and extend their lead atop the Pacific Division when they visit the Vancouver Canucks for Monday's clash at Rogers Arena.
The Ducks have already clinched a playoff spot and lead the Pacific with 108 points, one more than the San Jose Sharks. Anaheim has a game in hand to use over the Sharks on Monday and it would like to get two points before hosting San Jose in Wednesday's showdown in Orange County.
All told, the Ducks have four games left in the regular season. After welcoming San Jose on Wednesday, Anaheim will visit Los Angeles on Saturday before completing its schedule at home in Sunday's meeting against Colorado.
Anaheim was dealt a 5-2 home loss by Nashville on Friday and then dropped a 4-2 decision Sunday evening in Edmonton. Former Ducks goaltender Viktor Fasth made 34 saves to help the Oilers pick up the win. Fasth was traded from Anaheim to Edmonton for a pair of draft picks in early March.
Jonas Hiller yielded three goals on 27 shots for the Ducks, who received goals from Jakob Silfverberg and Corey Perry. Anaheim scored just 80 seconds into the game to grab an early lead, but fell behind 3-1 after allowing Edmonton to score three unanswered goals in the second period.
"You can't always fall behind and try and make a comeback. We need to get the early lead and keep it," Ducks defenseman Stephane Robidas said.
The Ducks fell to 23-12-4 as the visiting team after Sunday's loss.
Anaheim has dominated the Canucks in 2013-14, claiming all four encounters so far to extend its winning streak in this series to five games. The Ducks also have won three in a row and five of their last six outings in Vancouver.
The Canucks ended a three-game slide with a 2-1 home win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, but the club is close to being eliminated from playoff contention. Vancouver, which hasn't missed the postseason since 2008, is six points behind Dallas for the last playoff berth in the West with only four games remaining.
Brad Richardson scored the winning goal with 1:23 to play to help the Canucks edge the Kings on Saturday. Alexander Edler had the other goal and Eddie Lack stopped 25 shots for Vancouver.
"It's huge," Lack said of the result. "It keeps our season alive and especially it feels good to get a win against a California team."
The Canucks, who are 19-13-6 at Rogers Arena this season, are playing the fourth part of a five-game homestand on Monday. The club will complete the stay in British Columbia this Thursday against Colorado.
Vancouver will wrap up its regular-season schedule this weekend, as it is set to visit Edmonton on Saturday before ending the campaign the following day against visiting Calgary.
04/07 10:38:23 ET