National Hockey League
Vancouver at Anaheim
When: 8:00 PM ET, Sunday, March 3, 2024
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, California

Still on top in the Western Conference despite their worst stretch of the season, the Vancouver Canucks once again will try to get back on track when they visit the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.

The Canucks have lost six of their last seven games, going 1-5-1 in the stretch, although their lead atop the conference since Feb. 16 had only dropped from six points to two, heading into NHL play Saturday.

Vancouver is coming off a 5-1 home loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. It was the fourth time in their past six defeats the Canucks have scored two goals or fewer, while they have given up an average of 4.7 goals per game over the last seven contests overall.

Since allowing 10 goals to the Minnesota Wild in a zany 10-7 defeat Feb. 19, the Canucks remain suspect defensively, allowing at least four goals in three of the past four games.

"The only way you come out better for it on the other end is to work your way through it and understand that maybe there needs to be a little more desperation," Canucks defenseman Ian Cole said. "All the cliche words ... apply. So that's really the only thing we should be focusing on at this point."

On Saturday, the team announced an eight-year contract extension with forward Elias Pettersson, who is second on the team with 75 points (29 goals, 46 assists) in 62 games.

"We have an exciting group and believe we can do good things in the future," said Pettersson, who has just three points (one goal, two assists) in seven games since a three-assist performance Feb. 15.

The lowly Ducks, near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, seem like a perfect opponent to get the Canucks back on track. But Anaheim is coming off victories on consecutive days for just the second time this season and scored 10 total goals while doing so.

In a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday, Frank Vatrano had two goals to increase his team-leading total to 29, while Max Jones had a goal and an assist. The victory wasn't secured until Anaheim's Lukas Dostal stopped Jack Hughes on a penalty shot with 2.1 seconds remaining.

Dostal ended the night with 52 saves, the most ever by a Ducks goalie while earning a win in franchise history. Only four rookie goaltenders have had more saves in a win since the 1955-56 season.

"In back-to-back games, you kind of play simple off the bat," Jones said. "You don't know how the legs are going to be. I think we did a good job at that in the first period of playing simple. We were a little slow coming out, but we found a way to go in with (a 2-1 lead at first intermission) and just kind of sustained that."

The Ducks and Canucks are playing for just the second time this season and first since Nov. 28 when Vancouver earned a 3-1 home victory. They will meet again on March 31 in Vancouver.

--Field Level Media

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Vancouver 38-17-5-2 L2 20-6-3-0 18-11-2-2 5-1-1-2 33-16-4-0 9-6-0-0
Anaheim 22-35-2-1 W2 9-20-1-0 13-15-1-1 6-10-0-0 16-25-2-1 5-9-0-1
Last Meeting
Vancouver Anaheim
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
11/28/23 ANA 1 VAN 3 27 30 1-4 31 24 1-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Vancouver B. Boeser 2
Anaheim A. Henrique 1
Goals Player  
Vancouver B. Boeser 2
Anaheim R. Strome 1
Assists Player  
Vancouver J. Miller 2
Anaheim A. Henrique 1
Saves Player  
Vancouver T. Demko 30
Anaheim J. Gibson 24
Total Points Player  
Vancouver J. Miller 84
Anaheim F. Vatrano 49
Goals Player  
Vancouver B. Boeser 35
Anaheim F. Vatrano 29
Assists Player  
Vancouver Q. Hughes 60
Anaheim T. Terry 30
Saves Player  
Vancouver T. Demko 1312
Anaheim J. Gibson 1047
Quickchart Matchup
Vancouver Off vs  Anaheim Def
3.58 GF
3.55 GA
28.2 Shots
33.3 Shots
46 PP
60 PK
Anaheim Off vs  Vancouver Def
2.67 GF
2.79 GA
27.8 Shots
29.7 Shots
36 PP
42 PK