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Three-Game Road Trip Begins in Anaheim for Sunday Night Game Against Ducks

by Staff

The Vancouver Canucks head out of town for a three-game road trip with the first stop being in Anaheim to face the Ducks.

This is the second matchup of the season between the Canucks and Ducks, and it will be the first of two matchups in March.

It’s been a while since the teams’ first and only matchup of the season. The two Pacific Division teams met on November 28th, where the Canucks picked up a 3-1 win with Brock Boeser scoring a pair of goals. Thatcher Demko stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced in the win.

Anaheim sits seventh in the Pacific Division with a 22-35-3 record. They have the 18th-ranked power play in the league and the 27th-ranked penalty kill.

21-year-old Mason McTavish is having a strong season in his second full year as an NHLer. McTavish has played in 52 games, has scored 17 goals and added 23 assists for 40 points. He centres a line with Frank Vatrano and Troy Terry on the wings.

Vatrano leads the Ducks with 48 points and has been strong on the power play – notching 11 goals on the man-advantage. Vatrano also leads the Ducks in shorthanded goals with two this season. He is just one goal away from crossing the 30-goal mark for the first time in his NHL career.

Radko Gudas has been strong this season on the backend and is the only Ducks defenceman who holds a positive control of the expected goal share (xGF%). Gudas also leads the Ducks and is 8th in the league in hits with 168. He averages 19:34 of ice time per game and has contributed offensively with six goals.

Rookie, and 2023 second-overall pick Leo Carlsson is playing centre on the Ducks’ top line and has been strong in his debut season in North America. Carlsson is a 6’3” Swedish centre who has scored nine goals and added 14 assists for 23 points in 40 games. Carlsson was out with an upper-body injury on Friday night and his status is unknown as the Ducks are calling him day-to-day.

Pavel Mintyukov is another youngster who has been impressive for the Ducks this season. The 20-year-old defenceman is in his rookie season after being drafted 10th overall in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Mintyukov is averaging 18:18 per game and has three goals and 21 assists this season.

Quick Hits on the Competition:

  • Vatrano leads the Ducks by a wide margin in shots on net. Vatrano has hit the net with 187 shots this season and the closest Duck to him is Troy Terry, who has 131.
  • John Gibson has 37 starts this season and holds a .898% save percentage along with a 13-20-2 record.
  • Cam Fowler has been the quarterback on the Ducks’ first power play unit. He is leading the way with 12 power play assists.
  • Scoring first has been key for the Ducks this season. They have a 13-9-2 record when they score first but are 9-26-1 when their opponent is the first to notch one on the scoreboard.

Following a monumental day that saw him sign an eight-year extension with the club, Elias Pettersson now has no distractions and will be able to just go out and play hockey.

Pettersson is one goal shy of 30 and has picked up 46 assists on the season for a total of 75 points through 62 games. The 25-year-old Swedish centre is averaging 19:36 of ice time per game this season and has seen his physicality rise – picking up 95 hits.

No Canucks forward has been on the ice for more five-on-five goals this season (52) and Pettersson holds a 56.5% control of the goal share at five-on-five (52GF-40GA).

Pettersson skated with Nils Höglander and Pius Suter on his wings at Saturday’s practice. That meant that Ilya Mikheyev moved to J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser’s line. Rick Tocchet has been experimenting with some of his line combinations as the team looks to get back to their structure and find their winning ways once again.

Following the Ducks game, the Canucks will travel to Los Angeles for their second game of the season against the Kings and then they are off to Vegas to face the Golden Knights for the second time this season before they return home to embark on a nine-game homestand.

Yes. A nine-game homestand.

Canucks’ Top Performers over Last Five:

J.T. Miller: 3g-5a-8p
Brock Boeser: 4g-2a-6p
Filip Hronek: 1g-1a-2p
Tyler Myers: 0g-2a-2p
Elias Pettersson: 0g-2a-2p

Sunday’s game is a 5:00 pm PT start and you can watch the game on Sportsnet or listen to TikTok sensation Brendan Batchelor do the radio play-by-play on Sportsnet 650.

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