Ducks host road-hot Canucks amidst plethora of injuries

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The injuries continue to pile up for the Anaheim Ducks. So do road victories for the Vancouver Canucks.

The teams meet Thursday night at the Honda Center.

The Ducks (6-6-3) are coming off an entertaining yet ultimately frustrating 4-3 shootout loss at home to the rival Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night while the Canucks (8-5-2) pulled out a 5-3 victory at Calgary the same evening to improve to 5-1 on the road this season.

Anaheim Coach Randy Carlyle continues to deal with a rash of injuries to key players like center Ryan Getlzaf, who is expected to miss at least two months with a facial fracture which required surgery Monday, defenseman Cam Fowler (knee), center Ryan Kesler (hip surgery) and right winger Patrick Eaves (Guillen-Barre’ syndrome).

Additionally, right winger Ondrej Kase left Tuesday’s game against the Kings after taking an illegal hit to the head from Kings defenseman Kurtis MacDermid while goaltender John Gibson left the game after taking a stick and puck to the head with 6:53 left in regulation. Both players passed concussion protocol tests Wednesday and will be further evaluated at morning skate Thursday.

Goalie Ryan Miller, who replaced the injured Gibson on Tuesday, will get the start against Vancouver, for who he played for three seasons. The team also recalled left winger Kevin Roy and goalie Reto Berra from the AHL’s San Diego Gulls.

“There’s a plan A and B and C and sometimes D and E,” Carlyle said. “We’ve been an H and I with what’s gone in our hockey club this year.”

Somehow, the scrappy Ducks have continued to tread water and are staying positive even after games such as Tuesday’s when they squandered a two-goal lead.

“Guys got to step up,” forward Jared Boll told the Orange County Register. “Obviously, missing a guy like (Getzlaf), there’s really no one you can replace a guy like that with. It gives guys opportunities and I think guys have already showed this year that they can step into a bigger role.”

The Canucks, meanwhile, are feeling pretty good after four straight road wins. Thursday’s game in Anaheim is the second of a four-game road swing which continues at the San Jose Sharks on Saturday and concludes in Los Angeles against the Kings on Tuesday.

Two key factors for the Canucks have been goalie Jacob Markstrom, who ranks eighth in the NHL in goals against average (2.36) and crisp offense, particularly away from home. The Canucks have outscored opponents 14-6 during the four-game road winning streak.

Overall this season, six players have recorded at least eight points, led by right winger Brock Boeser’s 14 (five goals, nine assists).

“I don’t know what it is,” center Henrik Sedin told NHL.com. “I don’t think it matters if we play on the road or at home. I think our style of play, that’s the way you need to play in today’s NHL. We bought in, and I think we follow the system and we defend from playing well offensively. That’s the only way I look it.”