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Canucks game day: Silovs gets the nod as playoff-bound Canucks take on Ducks in early Easter Sunday start

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
17 days ago
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The playoff bound Vancouver Canucks (45-20-8) wrap up their nine-game homestand with an early start against the Anaheim Ducks (24-46-4). The Canucks clinched their first post-season berth in four years when the St. Louis Blues fell 4-0 on home ice to San Jose last night.
Rick Tocchet announced Sunday morning that Arturs Silovs will make his first NHL start of the season. He’s backed up Casey DeSmith for the past seven games since Thatcher Demko was injured on March 9th. Silovs went 3-2 in his five games with the NHL Canucks last season. He has 15 wins in AHL Abbotsford this season with four of them coming by way of shutout. He has not seen game action at any level since March 9th.
With the 12:30 pm puck drop, the Canucks did not hold a morning skate. After being excused from practice on Saturday, it has now been confirmed that Elias Pettersson will play today. Based on the way the Canucks lined up at practice, Nikita Zadorov could be a healthy scratch for today’s game to make room for Noah Juulsen to return to action.
The Canucks are coming off back to back losses to Los Angeles on Monday and Dallas on Thursday night. JT Miller scored the Canucks’ lone goal in a 3-1 setback against the Stars. 
The Canucks have managed just three goals in their last two games. Part of the issue is a power play that has gone one for its last 11 over the past four contests. JT Miller scored with the man-advantage in a 4-2 win over Calgary last Saturday.
As the Canucks wrap up this nine-game homestand, they are 4-3-1 through the first eight games outscoring their opponents 23-17.
The Ducks arrive in town following a 6-1 loss in Edmonton on Saturday afternoon. Alex Killorn scored on a late power play to snap the Oilers shutout bid. Anaheim had just three third period shots and was outshot 37-22 on the day.
They have dropped four straight (0-3-1) and 11 of their last 12 games. Their lone win over that stretch was a 4-0 shutout of Chicago on March 21st. That is also the only time in the last 14 outings the Ducks have scored more than two goals in a game. On top of that, Anaheim has lost seven straight on the road.
Frank Vatrano leads Anaheim with 30 goals. He’s the only Duck with more than 20 this season. The Ducks are 30th in the NHL in offence, ahead of only Chicago and San Jose. They are also 30th in the league in defence. As a result, they sit 30th in the overall standings, three points ahead of the Blackhawks. The Ducks lead the NHL in minor penalties taken, total penalties and penalty minutes per game. At 73.2%, their penalty killing is 31st in the NHL and 32nd on the road.
John Gibson went the distance in Edmonton on Saturday, meaning Lukas Dostal will likely get the nod in goal today. Dostal is 11-20-2 on the season with a 3.47 GAA and a .900 save percentage. The 23-year-old Czech has been in net for the last three Ducks victories.
The Canucks have defeated the Ducks in their two previous meetings this season. They were 3-1 winners on November 28th and posted a 2-1 victory at Honda Center on March 3rd.
Today’s referees: Carter Sandlak & Jon McIssac (this is his first Canucks game since the infamous 10-7 loss in Minnesota last month with four 5-on-3 power play goals)
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