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Anaheim Ducks Look For Some Home Cooking After Poor Start

(Sports Network) - After a brutal three-game road trip to start the season, the winless Anaheim Ducks aren't sure what kind of response they will get in their home opener tonight versus the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center.

Avoiding their second 0-4 start in three seasons may help them win back the home crowd.

The Ducks haven't given their fans much to cheer about over the season's first week. They have been outscored 13-2 over their first three games, getting out- shot 145-72 in that span, forcing the club to hold a team meeting before Tuesday's practice.

That meeting came one day after the club was routed, 5-1, in St. Louis. Saku Koivu had the lone goal, giving him both of the Ducks' goals this season.

Jonas Hiller allowed four goals on 34 shots faced before being lifted late in the second period. Curtis McElhinney came on in relief and stopped all but one of the 19 shots fired his way.

"We're getting the puck into the neutral ice, but we're not controlling the puck at all," Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said about the offensive struggles. "The other team has had the puck more than we have. We're not winning enough one-on-one battles."

The Ducks, who begin a three-game homestand tonight, got more bad news on Tuesday when Andy Sutton underwent surgery on a broken right thumb. The defenseman sustained the injury in a fight versus Detroit in Friday's season opener and will be sidelined for six-to-eight weeks.

Anaheim had already signed veteran blueliner Andrea Lilja to a one-year deal on Monday.

The Canucks come to town having split their first two games of the season at home. After a shootout loss to the Kings on Saturday, Vancouver used two goals from Daniel Sedin to best Florida, 2-1, on Monday.

Roberto Luongo had a second straight solid game to start the season. After making 31 saves versus Los Angles, he turned aside 41 of the 42 shots faced on Monday, including 19 in the third period.

"We wanted to get a win as soon as possible," said Luongo, whose club now plays two straight on the road. "It was a tight game again and we found a way to get it done."

Luongo has struggled over his last five games against the Ducks, going 1-2-2 with a 4.77 goals-against average. However, Sedin has four goals and seven assists in his last six games against the club.

Koivu also has a six-game point streak against tonight's opponent as the Finnish center has five goals and four helpers over his current run versus the Canucks.

The Ducks won their first two games versus the Canucks last year, but Vancouver battled back to win the final two meetings. Anaheim has won four of its last seven at home in this series.