The losses are piling up for the five-time reigning Pacific Division champion Anaheim Ducks — both in the standings and in the injury column. With their lineup further depleted by three key injuries, the Ducks will attempt to snap a four-game losing streak when they resume a five-game homestand against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.
One day after learning that captain Ryan Getzlaf would be sidelined for two months after undergoing surgery for a facial fracture, the hits kept coming for Anaheim as starting goaltender John Gibson and forward Ondrej Kase were knocked out of Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings. “There’s Plan A and B and C and sometimes D and E,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle told the Orange County Register in reference to the rising injury count. “We’ve been at H and I with what’s gone on in our hockey club this year.” The Canucks opened their four-game road trip with a 5-3 victory in Calgary and will carry a 5-1-0 record away from home to California for three in a row against division rivals. Vancouver produced the second-fewest goals in the NHL last season but has scored at least four times in five of its last nine games (6-2-1).
TV: 10 p.m. ET, Sportsnet Pacific (Vancouver), Prime Ticket (Anaheim)
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (8-5-2): Longtime captain Henrik Sedin, a career 1,000-plus point scorer, finally notched his first tally in Tuesday’s win, halting a goal drought dating to March 23. “I feel better than the last couple years,” Sedin said. “We’ve created enough chances for me to put the puck in the net. Early in the season you need bounces to get goals early and I haven’t gotten that.” Bo Horvat netted the game-winning goal against the Flames, giving him six points in his last three games.
ABOUT THE DUCKS (6-6-3): Gibson and Kase, Anaheim’s second-leading goal scorer with five, each passed their concussion protocol Wednesday but neither will be available for Thursday’s game. Veteran Ryan Miller, who will make his third start in place of Gibson, stopped nine of 10 shots in Tuesday’s loss after playing superbly by making 44 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss at San Jose on Saturday night. Kevin Roy, who leads San Diego with 11 points in 10 games, was called up from the American Hockey League affiliate.
1. Anaheim’s power play is 1-for-14 during the 0-2-2 slide and ranks 30th in the league, converting on 5 of 47 chances.
2. Canucks F Daniel Sedin has three points in the past two games, leaving him six shy of 1,000.
3. Ducks C Derek Grant is riding a career-best five-game point streak and has nine points in his last nine contests.
PREDICTION: Ducks 3, Canucks 2