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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, March 12th (All times eastern)

Vancouver Canucks (35-24-10) at Anaheim Ducks (39-25-8), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks resume a four-game road trip tonight, as they pay a visit to Anaheim and the Honda Center to take on the Ducks.

Vancouver enters this test in the midst of two heated races. The Canucks, who have 13 games left on their schedule this year, are fourth in the Northwest Division, but just two points back of first-place Calgary and Colorado. The Flames also have 13 tests remaining on their schedule and play in Washington tonight, while the Avalanche are off. Colorado has 11 games left this year.

The Canucks are also battling for one of the lower seeds in the West should they fall short of a division crown. Vancouver is eighth in the conference, one point shy of seventh-place Minnesota and two points up on ninth-seeded Nashville.

The Canucks began their four-game trip with a 2-1 victory in Los Angeles on Monday. Ryan Kesler forced overtime with a third-period goal with under three minutes left in regulation, then netted the game-winning marker 46 seconds into the extra stanza.

Roberto Luongo had 17 saves and Alexandre Burrows posted a pair of assists for Vancouver, which has won three in a row overall and improved to 16-13-5 as the visiting team this year.

Vancouver also saw iron man Brendan Morrison return to the lineup on Monday. The 32-year-old had played in 542 consecutive games -- which was the longest active streak in the league -- before a wrist injury sidelined him on December 10.

Morrison has eight goals and 12 assists in 31 games this year.

The Ducks enter tonight's game having dropped a 3-2 shootout decision in Phoenix on Tuesday night. The Coyotes' Radim Vrbata beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere with a backhander in the extra stanza, and Chris Pronger failed to extend the shootout for the Ducks.

Todd Marchant and Ryan Getzlaf each had a goal while Giguere stopped 37 shots in the loss for the Ducks, who have dropped three of their last four games. Anaheim is four points behind San Jose for first in the Pacific Division and fifth overall in the Western Conference.

Anaheim, which has 10 games remaining this season, now returns to the Honda Center, where it is 23-8-4 this season and has won a franchise-record tying seven straight. The Ducks also won seven in a row as the host from December 19-January 15 of this season.

The Ducks will be looking to avoid getting swept by the Canucks in their four- game season series this year. Vancouver has outscored Anaheim 9-3 this year, though the Ducks have still won six of the last 10 in the series.

The Canucks have won two of three and five of their last seven in Anaheim and have never swept the Ducks before in a season series.

03/12 10:43:13 ET


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