NHL

Ducks want to start win streak against Canucks

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Anaheim Ducks continue their search for the consistency they have missed all season when they meet the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night at the Honda Center.

The Ducks emerged from their bye week Friday night with a 5-2 home win over the Toronto Maple Leafs but have lost seven of the past 12 games.

As a result, Anaheim not only trails the first-place San Jose Sharks by seven points in the Pacific Division, but the Ducks also hold just a two-point lead over the fourth-place Calgary Flames in the division race.

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"We can't win one game and lose one game and keep going like that," right winger Jakob Silfverberg told the Orange County Register. "We've got to make sure to string some games together here. Things are tightening up and teams behind us are playing really good. We've got to have that sense of urgency."

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle views the Ducks' position as serious but not dire.

"We have to be well aware of the situation that we're in, but we can't look at it as life and death every day," Carlyle told the Register. "Our focus has to be on the process and do the things that we do. The rest will take care of itself because we are quite capable of playing the game to a fairly high level and competing with a lot of teams in the league."

After Sunday night's game, the Ducks will play their next five against fellow contenders, including the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals. Carlyle hopes to have goalie John Gibson available, but Gibson has missed the past four games because of a strained muscle and could be out indefinitely.

"When he tells us he's right, he's right," Carlyle told the Register. "You can't hurry nature's healing of the body in some situations."

Replacing Gibson has been Jonathan Bernier, who started the past four games and finished three of them. Bernier went 2-2-0 while allowing 11 goals.

The Canucks will bring their two newest players, Nikolay Goldobin and Joseph Cramarossa, to Anaheim. Goldobin, acquired from San Jose at the trading deadline for right winger Jannik Hansen, scored his first NHL goal in his debut for the team Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

"I was kind of upset that I didn't get a bigger chance, but they are trying to win the Stanley Cup and they want older guys," Goldobin said to the Vancouver Province about the Sharks. "But I'm a good player. I know that because I can score and make plays."

The Sharks made the 21-year-old Russian their first choice in the 2014 draft after Goldobin collected 38 goals and 94 points for Sarnia in the Ontario Hockey Association.

Cramarossa began the season as the left wing on the Ducks' fourth line and played 49 games for Anaheim before the Canucks claimed him off waivers Wednesday.

"He's a guy that we scouted in junior," Vancouver general manager Jim Benning told the team's website. "Plays hard. Gets in on the forecheck. Is physical. Takes pucks to the net. We're excited to have him."