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Giguere faces Ducks; Horcoff returns; Canucks host Sharks

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The Sports Network
1/20/2011 5:42:00 PM
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(Sports Network) - Jean-Sebastien Giguere will get a chance to beat his former team tonight at Air Canada Centre, as the Maple Leafs goaltender leads Toronto in a battle against the visiting Anaheim Ducks.

Giguere spent parts of nine seasons in Anaheim before getting dealt to Toronto last January. His tenure with the Ducks included a Conn Smythe Trophy in 2003 and a Stanley Cup title in 2007. Giguere is Anaheim's all-time leader in wins (206), shutouts (32) and games played by a goalie (447).

The only time Giguere ever faced the Ducks was during the 1999-2000 season when he was still with the Calgary Flames. He posted a win in that game on Dec. 29, 1999 and was traded from Calgary to Anaheim a few months later.

Giguere will face a surging Ducks team that enters tonight with victories in eight of their last 10 games. Anaheim recorded its second straight win when it opened a four-game road trip with Tuesday's close victory in Ottawa. Bobby Ryan notched the winner in the shootout as the Ducks clipped the Senators, 2-1, at Scotiabank Place.

Ryan ended the second round by beating Brian Elliott with a quick forehander. Erik Karlsson then fired a wrister on Jonas Hiller, but he stopped the chance with his pad to end the game.

Corey Perry tallied in regulation for the Ducks, who are five points behind Dallas for first place in the Pacific Division. Hiller ended with 39 saves.

"It's always nice to win on the road no matter how you get the two points. Not every game is a masterpiece," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle.

The Ducks are just 9-12-3 as the guest this season and have won consecutive road games just once this season when they posted victories in Phoenix and Edmonton on Nov. 27 and Dec. 7, respectively.

The Maple Leafs hope to end a three-game slide and bounce back from last night's embarrassing loss in New York City. The Rangers destroyed Toronto, 7-0, at Madison Square Garden as Marian Gaborik scored four goals to fuel the rout.

Jonas Gustavsson was charged with six goals on 25 shots for the Maple Leafs. Giguere played the final 6:39 of the first period after Gustavsson surrendered three goals in a span of less than three minutes, but the game's starting goaltender returned to the crease for the start of the second period.

"Of course I wanted to have a good game and help the team win, not lose 7-0," said Gustavsson.

The Maple Leafs are 9-10-4 as the host this season

Toronto posted a 6-3 win in Anaheim when the clubs met last season, but the Ducks have still taken three of five overall in this series. Anaheim has just two wins in its last 16 trips to Toronto.


Horcoff returns to lineup as Oilers host Stars

(Sports Network) - The Oilers are expected to have captain Shawn Horcoff back on the ice tonight when they host the Dallas Stars.

Horcoff returns to action fter he sat out 18 games with a knee injury. Horcoff has seven goals and eight assists in 24 games this year and will help offset the loss of Ales Hemsky, who suffered a concussion in Tuesday's 4-1 setback to Minnesota.

Also, Edmonton learned on Monday that forward Ryan Whitney, originally injured on Dec. 28, will not return this season after undergoing ankle surgery.

The Oilers have lost three straight and 12 of their last 14 and began a three- game homestand on Tuesday after a 1-4-0 road trip. Nikolai Khabibulin gave up four goals on 26 shots, while Magnus Paajarvi helped his club avoid the shutout by scoring with 3:46 left in regulation.

"It's a frustrating loss at home," said Edmonton forward Taylor Hall. "This is a place that we want to make teams scared to come into. With the exception of the first few minutes, we played a pretty good game. They put us on their heels at a time when we should be doing that to them."

Though Khabibulin has lost nine straight, having last won on Dec. 16, the Oilers may have to stick with him tonight as backup Devan Dubnyk is battling the flu. Khabibulin is 16-15-1 with a pair of ties and 2.82 GAA in his career versus the Stars.

Edmonton has lost five of its last six at home and is last in the West with 35 points, 19 out of a playoff spot.

The Stars outscored their opponents, 11-4, on their recently-completed stand, including Monday's 2-1 victory over the Kings. Dallas, which is 6-0-1 in January, is on its longest winning streak since a season-best six-game run from Nov. 24-Dec. 4 and hasn't lost on the road since Dec. 11.

Dallas' recent homestand began with a 3-2 victory over Edmonton, with Kari Lehtonen making 39 saves to improve to 2-1-0 with 3.02 goals-against average versus the Oilers. Lehtonen then capped the residency with 23 saves versus Los Angeles, including one on a penalty shot with 52.4 seconds left in regulation.

The Kings were awarded the shot after Stars defenseman Jeff Woywitka was whistled for closing his hand over the puck while it was in the crease.

"It's one of those plays where you're just reacting, anything can happen. You just want to get [the puck] out as quickly as you can," Woywitka said.

Jamie Langenbrunner celebrated his 1,000th NHL game with the game-winning goal and Loui Eriksson also tallied to run his career-best point streak to 10 games (2 goals, 10 assists). Brad Richards assisted on both goals.

The Stars, who own a five-point lead for first place in the Pacific Division, have won three straight and 11 of their last 15 over the Oilers, taking eight of the last 11 in Edmonton.


Canucks host Sharks in Vancouver

(Sports Network) - The Sharks are in the process of recovering from a recent six-game losing streak. A victory over the Western Conference-leading Canucks would be a big next step.

San Jose looks to win three straight for the first time in nearly a month and avoid a third straight setback to Vancouver tonight at Rogers Arena.

Winners of the last three Pacific Division titles, the Sharks are currently 10 games off the division pace and sit 10th overall in the conference. A six-game slide from Jan. 3-13 did little to help things as all six setbacks came in regulation.

San Jose has begun to rebound though, posting back-to-back 4-2 victories over the Blues and Coyotes.

Logan Couture, Dany Heatley and Joe Thornton all had a goal and an assist in Monday's win over Phoenix. Patrick Marleau also scored in his 1,000th career game and Antti Niemi made 34 saves.

"Pucks are starting to go in the net," Heatley said. "I think we're playing better as a team. We did a lot of real good things tonight."

Those recent wins did not stop the Sharks from tinkering with their roster. Forwards Ben Eager and Kyle Wellwood could both make their debuts tonight after being acquired earlier in the week.

Eager came over in a trade with Atlanta for a fifth-round draft pick in 2011, while Wellwood was claimed off waivers on Tuesday after signing with St. Louis the previous day.

Eager, who won a Stanley Cup with Niemi last year in Chicago, has three goals and seven assists in 34 games this year, while Wellwood notched five goals and three assists in 25 games with Mytishchi Atlanti of the Kontinental Hockey League this year. He spent last season with the Canucks, posting 14 goals and 11 helpers.

One of the two could step in for forward Scott Nichol, who begins a four-game suspension tonight for a hit to the head of Phoenix defenseman David Schlemko. Also, both Benn Ferriero (facial) and Ryane Clowe (undisclosed) are questionable for tonight due to injury.

The Sharks began a stretch of playing 13 of their next 17 on the road Monday and have won five of their last seven as the guest. Tonight, they will try to hand the Canucks their first home regulation loss since Dec. 5.

Vancouver is 7-0-2 at Rogers Arena since that setback, but has gone 1-2-1 since its club-record 14-0-3 stretch from Dec. 8-Jan. 11. The Canucks wrapped a five-game road trip 2-2-1 with Tuesday's 4-3 overtime loss to Colorado.

Alexander Edler, Ryan Kesler and Sergei Shirokov scored for the Western Conference-leading Canucks, who with 65 points are tied with Philadelphia for the most in the NHL. Roberto Luongo made 26 saves.

"I don't think we played our best game but at the same time, we rarely give up three power-play goals and that's what happened tonight," said Henrik Sedin, who was in the penalty box when Colorado netted its game-winning goal.

The Canucks still own an 11-point lead over the Avalanche for first place in the Northwest Division.

Vancouver has won both of its meetings so far this year with San Jose, but have still dropped 10 of the last 14 in this series. The Sharks have lost two straight and three of their last four at Rogers Arena.

Shawn Horcoff (Photo: Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
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