The Phoenix Coyotes and Dallas Stars are winning games, which leaves the Vancouver Canucks with no option than to keep winning themselves and hope, somehow, the Coyotes and Stars suddenly careen over a cliff.

That is all the Canucks can cling to as their playoff hopes dwindle by the day. When they step on the ice tonight at Rogers Arena to face the mighty Anaheim Ducks, they will be at least five points behind the eighth-place Coyotes and three behind the ninth-place Stars, pending the outcome of their games earlier in the evenning.

It's not a pretty picture but, as the sports shrinks like to put it: You can only control what you can control. (Or something like that.)

The Canucks have not fared well against the Ducks this season, losing all three previous meetings, one of them in overtime. All three games were in Anaheim. The Canucks have been outscored by a whopping 16-5 margin, including the 9-1 debacle on Jan. 15 when the teams last met. The Ducks went 6-for-9 on the power play that night.

Needless to say, the Canucks will have to show a little more discipline tonight. The 9-1 loss was among the low points of the team's two-month swoon.

“I wouldn't say it was just that Anaheim game, I would say it was that two-week period when we went through that area twice," said Canuck head coach John Tortorella. "I think that knocked us down a bit. Combined with some of the injuries, I think it eroded us from a team looking to inflict to a team that kind of waited for something to happen.”

The good news from the Canucks' infirmary is that defencemen Kevin Bieksa, who dinged his right leg Thursday in a collision with Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, appears ready to go. He took the morning skate and emerged without mishap.

"We'll see how it feels later but obviously I got through the skate okay, “ Bieksa said. “At this time of year, there are a lot of guys playing injured. So if you can play, you play.”

Tortorella was not surprised that Bieksa intends to give it a go.

“It doesn't surprise me at all,” said the Canuck coach. “Not Kevin Bieksa when it comes to that. He knows what's at stake.”

The Canucks did not have any line rushes at the morning skate and Tortorella indicated he might break up the unproductive unit of Chris Higgins, Ryan Kesler and Jannik Hansen. The Canucks did practise their power play, however, and the two units looked like this: Higgins-Kesler-Alex Burrows-Bieksa-Alex Edler; and Daniel Sedin-Shawn Matthias-Nick Jensen-Yannick Weber-Jason Garrison.

The Ducks, meanwhile, might be a bit grumpy after dropping a 4-3 overtime decision Friday night to the sad-sack Edmonton Oilers. They also might be arm-weary after firing 51 shots on goal and attempting 82.

“I think we're all disappointed we didn't get the extra point last night but when you review things and you have 51 shots to 23, you should get a better fate,” said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. “But when you give up four goals, this league is too good. You have to give up two goals or less to be successful.”

Veteran Teemu Selanne will be rested tonight as he no longer plays in back-to-back situations at age 43. Without him, the Ducks' expected line are: Nick Bonino-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry; Daniel Winnik-Saku Koivu-Andrew Cogliano; Patrick Maroon-Mathieu Perreault-Kyle Palmieri; and Matt Belesky-Rickard Rikell-Jakob Silfverberg.