|7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET23:00 BRT, March 26, 2019
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia Attendance: 17,633
Kesler's future cloudy as Ducks visit Canucks
Anaheim Ducks at Vancouver Canucks
- The Ducks lost to the Kings, 4-3, in a shootout in Los Angeles on Saturday. They're 7-4-1 since March 3, which ranks as the 10th-best record in the league. From December 15 -- March 1, they were 7-21-4, the fewest wins in the league in that span.
- Cam Fowler scored the opening goal in the loss to Los Angeles, the 58th of his career. The only defenseman with more career goals for the Ducks is Scott Niedermayer, who racked up 60 in his five seasons with the team.
- Anaheim is 2-1-0 against the Canucks this season, winning twice at home and losing on the road. The Ducks have lost their last two in Vancouver, but are 12-3-4 there since the 2010-11 season.
- The Canucks were blown out by the Blue Jackets, 5-0, at home on Sunday, tied for their largest defeat this season (two other 5-0 losses and a 7-2 loss). In their last eight games, they've been outscored 16-5 in their four losses and have outscored opponents 16-9 in their four wins.
- Loui Eriksson has 37 career points (17g, 20a) against Anaheim, the most of any current Canuck. However, he's been held off the scoresheet in each of his last five games against the Ducks, tied for his longest drought against them in his career.
- Vancouver is 14-1-2 this season when holding a lead after the first period, tied for the third-fewest losses in the league. Anaheim is just 6-24-1 when trailing after one, the fifth worst record in the league.
- Blues stun Jets with rally for 3-2 lead
- Sharks start fast, Vegas' lead now 3-2
- Hurricanes top Capitals, tie series at 2
- Avs look to oust top-seeded Flames in 5
- Bruins host Leafs in critical Game 5
Vancouver Canucks fans will probably not get a chance to boo Ryan Kesler on Tuesday night.
Kesler is expected to remain sidelined with a chronic hip problem as his Anaheim Ducks visit the Canucks in a game between two NHL clubs mainly trying to gain insight on next season. The Ducks center has been persona non grata in Vancouver since he demanded a trade in the summer of 2014, saying he'd waive his no-trade clause only to go to Anaheim or Chicago.
Once loved by Canucks faithful, Kesler has been booed and jeered whenever he returns to Rogers Arena. But it remains to be seen whether he will play another game in Vancouver -- or anywhere else. Ducks general manager and interim coach Bob Murray indicated the club will likely shut him down for the rest of the season, and the 34-year-old's future is uncertain because of his hip woes.
"I'm concerned with his quality of life going forward," Murray told reporters. "I'm not worried about hockey whatsoever right now. OK? Can we all understand that? I'm worried about his quality of life and what he's going to go through in the next little while.
"We got to get control of everything he's doing in order to play. Everything he's doing -- sometimes it just may not be the best thing for him going forward."
Kesler played his 1,000th NHL game March 5 in Arizona, but has not played since accepting a silver stick for the accomplishment prior to a home game March 6 against St. Louis. He has been slowed by a right hip that has undergone a series of surgical procedures and other treatments.
The hip troubles began while he was with the Canucks, and they don't appear to have a clear solution.
"I know I'm going to need a hip replacement at some point," Kesler told Sports Illustrated in a story published earlier this month. "Whether it's five years or 10 years or 20 years, that's all unknown. Right now I want to see how far I can take this and focus on the next part of my life when that comes."
But the Ducks (31-36-10, 72 points), destined to miss the playoffs, are not going far this season. So it remains to be seen how many more games Kesler will play this season or at all. Murray has voiced plans to have a hard talk about his future.
Meanwhile, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf and fellow forward Nick Ritchie are questionable after sitting out Saturday's loss to Los Angeles with undisclosed upper-body injuries. The Ducks, who are second-to-last in the Western Conference (10 points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings), have lost two of their past three games.
The Canucks are also trying to get back on the winning track after losing back-to-back home games on the weekend to Columbus and Calgary.
The Blue Jackets blanked the Canucks 5-0 on Sunday night, as the hosts delivered a sub-par effort and committed turnovers that led to four Columbus goals.
"We have to be a lot better than that coming down the stretch here," center Bo Horvat told reporters.
The back-to-back losses virtually eliminated the Canucks (32-34-10, 74 points) from playoff contention, after they had raised fans' hopes of getting in following a recent surge.
"We are just going to try to continue to keep getting better game by game," said Horvat. "We can't just sit and roll over and play out these six games like they mean nothing. We have to try and go and win as many games as possible down the stretch here.
"We've worked really hard in a lot of games. We are starting to build an identity for our team."
In other words, the Canucks, who have been shut out 10 times this season, want to be a club that's hard to play against.
"Both games you have to learn from it," said center Jay Beagle. "This is playoff-style hockey. Those are two really good teams. ... You have to take away where you can grow as a player and as a team."
--Field Level Media
Updated March 25, 2019