VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The Canucks kick off a five-game home stand this evening against divisional foes, the Anaheim Ducks. The California club is the best team in the NHL this season. Vancouver will have to contend with superstars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, as well as former teammate Ryan Kesler.
It is the fifth and final meeting of the regular season for the two teams tonight. The Ducks have won three of the first four games, and have not lost to Vancouver in regulation in the last 11 contests. Coach Willie Desjardins wants his team to move past the previous games and focus on tonight’s match.
“It is kind of like playoff hockey now. You have to forget about it and move on to the next game,” says Desjardins, “It doesn’t mean you are ever happy with what has happened in the past. We want to get some positive energy. It is a lot easier to play when things are positive, so I think we want to feed off the last game.”
The Canucks blueline will get a big boost this evening with the return of Chris Tanev. The defenceman has been out of the lineup since suffering a concussion on February 14th.
“Obviously you want to be in the lineup and playing, but the guys have done a great job. It will be fun to get back out there tonight. I am just going to go out there, work hard and trying and keep things simple. They are a good team over there so it will be a tough game to jump right back in to.”
Tanev will be paired with Alex Edler on the blueline and he expects the Ducks to play a physical game.
“The last game was an intense game and I’m sure tonight will be the same. Everyone is fighting and clawing to get in to the playoffs. Anaheim is a big physical team, so I expect the same tonight.”
Tanev takes the spot of Yannick Weber, while Frank Corrado steps in for Adam Clendening.
Eddie Lack will get the start in the Canucks net for the third game in a row.
The puck drops at 7 p.m.. You can watch it on Sportsnet Pacific. Listen for game updates every 10 minutes on the fives.