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Game Preview / Gamethread #63: Canucks vs Ducks

CANUCKS (38-17-7) at DUCKS (22-35-3)

8 p.m. ET; BSSD, BSSC

Let's start with the Coach

With the injury faeries feasting on this team, the Nucks have called up Podz and Matt Irwin. The hodge-podge lineup will face a Ducks lineup that is young and struggling to get an identity. The Ducks have no shot at the playoffs but there is nothing they would like more than to beat the division leader. And if we're being honest, they have a shot tonight, as the Canucks have been struggling for a few weeks now. Special teams, 5 vs 5, penalties, 200 foot game...so many areas that have cracks in them.

Is this the time of year to go through this? Maybe. Get all the injuries out of the way, get some games in as a complete team and hope that it gels in time for the first round. We have to keep in mind that this team can't afford to lose a bunch of games because one, their confidence would be low going in and two, playing Vegas or Edm in the first round, well.....no thank you.

So tonight's game is a must-win if this team wants to hold off an Edmonton team that is really feeling it right now. This 3 game road trip is also a 4 game in 7 nights scenario for the Nucks. Lots of division opponents followed by the Jets next Saturday. It will be interesting to see what Petey we get tonight after signing that contract. Petey has 19 points in 15 games against the Ducks in his career. J.T. Miller is also a guy with a point a game against the Ducks in his career.

Canucks projected lineup

Nils Hoglander -- Elias Pettersson -- Pius Suter

Vasily Podkolzin -- J.T. Miller -- Brock Boeser

Ilya Mikheyev -- Elias Lindholm -- Conor Garland

Nils Aman - Teddy Blueger -- Sam Lafferty

Quinn Hughes -- Filip Hronek

Nikita Zadorov -- Noah Juulsen

Ian Cole -- Mark Friedman

Casey DeSmith

Thatcher Demko

Scratched: Arshdeep Bains, Matt Irwin, Phillip Di Giuseppe

Injured: Dakota Joshua (upper body), Carson Soucy (hand), Tyler Myers (lower body)

Ducks projected lineup

Max Jones -- Adam Henrique -- Alex Killorn

Frank Vatrano -- Ryan Strome -- Troy Terry

Isac Lundestrom -- Bo Groulx -- Jakob Silfverberg

Ross Johnston -- Sam Carrick -- Brett Leason

Pavel Mintyukov -- Radko Gudas

Urho Vaakanainen -- Olen Zellweger

Jackson LaCombe -- Gustav Lindstrom

John Gibson

Lukas Dostal

Scratched: None

Injured: Trevor Zegras (broken ankle), Brock McGinn (upper body), Leo Carlsson (upper body), Mason McTavish (lower body), Cam Fowler (facial laceration)

Status report

Neither team held a morning skate. .... Myers, a defenseman, was injured in a 5-1 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Kings on Thursday and is week to week. Friedman will enter the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past eight games. .... Soucy, a defenseman, went through a full practice Saturday in Vancouver and joined the Canucks on the three-game trip, but said it's unlikely he'll return against the Ducks. Soucy was injured when he blocked a shot during a 6-4 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 20. ... Joshua, a forward, is not on the road trip. ... DeSmith is anticipated to start after Demko started five straight games for the first time this season. ... Podkolzin, a forward, and Irwin, a defenseman, were recalled from Abbotsford of the American Hockey League on Saturday. Neither has played an NHL game this season. ... The Ducks did not practice on Saturday following their 4-3 win against the visiting New Jersey Devils on Friday and there's been no update on Carlsson and McTavish, both forwards, and Fowler, a defenseman. McTavish was injured in the first period against the Devils, and Ducks coach Greg Cronin did not provide an update after the game. Carlsson was injured in the third period of a 6-4 win at the San Jose Sharks on Thursday and is day to day. Fowler was struck in the face with a slap shot in the first period against the Sharks and is also day to day. - NHL.com

Game Day Battle Hymn

This team has been struggling so I won't be so confident to throw John Tesh back out there, but there must be a change in theme to break this inconsistency. A song to pump you up....by my standards...which would drive Kent crazy.

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