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Vancouver Fighting For Postseason Berth Hosts Anaheim

The Vancouver Canucks host the Anaheim Ducks to start a crucial home stand for the Canucks.

Vancouver is currently in 10th place in the Western Conference and only 8 teams make the postseason. Vancouver is 34-30-11 for 79 points in 75 games. The Canucks have just 7 games left on their schedule and trail the 8th place Phoenix Coyotes by 5 points.

Anaheim on the other hand has clinched a playoff berth and sits in second place in the Pacific division and in third place in the Western Conference playoff race. The Ducks are 47-18-8 on the season with 102 points in 73 games.

Over their past 10 games played, Vancouver is 6-3-1, while Anaheim is 4-4-2.

This is the first visit of the season for Anaheim to Vancouver’s Rogers Arena. The Ducks will return on April 7. This season, the Ducks won each of their three games at home versus Vancouver including a January 15 rout by the score of 9-1.

On Friday night, Anaheim missed an opportunity to regain first place in the Pacific division when the team lost to the Edmonton Oilers in overtime. However, the Ducks already know they are in the postseason, which Vancouver cannot say.

Vancouver starts a home stand of five games desperate to record points as they are chasing the last wildcard spot. Vancouver is trailing Phoenix by five points.

Anaheim let a point getaway in their lost in OT to Edmonton. Despite outshooting Edmonton to the tune of 51-23 and having a 5 to 3 advantage during OT, the Ducks still lost 4-3 when Edmonton’s Andrew Ference scored with a 1:09 left in overtime.

Bruce Boudreau the Anaheim coach was not pleased after letting one point get away against the Western Conference’s worst team. The Ducks remain one point behind the San Jose Sharks, but have two games in hand.

Vancouver’s last game was also a loss in overtime. The Canucks lost 3-2 to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday in Denver. The Canucks were 1-0-1 during a brief two-game road trip but play the next 5 and 6 of their final 7 at home. Vancouver was idle on Friday.

Patrick Maroon a fourth liner scored a goal and one assist Friday, which is five points in Anaheim’s past three games. Eddie Lack the goaltender for Vancouver is 3-0-1 over this last four games giving up 7 goals.

Marc Fistric a defenseman for Anaheim is day to day. Cam Fowler a defenseman might not be back until the postseason. Vancouver will be without Henrik Sedin a center, Christopher Tanev a defenseman and Andrew Alberts, whom are all out with varying injuries.

Kevin Bieksa played just a shift or two during the third period on Thursday for Vancouver, while Mike Santorelli is not expected to return this year.

Vancouver is battling for its playoff life and every game going forward is a much win for the Canucks. However, Anaheim has clinched but still would like to win the Pacific division and secure 2nd place in the West behind St. Louis, which will make this a very competitive game.

Pick: Vancouver 2-1

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