Vancouver Canucks (8-3-4, 20 pts) @ Dallas Stars (8-7-1, 17 pts)
7:30 PM CT
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
The Canucks – 3rd in the West
Goals – 11th, Goals Against – 6th, Power Play – 10th, Penalty Kill – 21st
Vancouver has been in a slight tailspin since that last Stars game in which Dallas shockingly came back to win. The Canucks lost their next two games and are on a season high three game losing streak.
Both Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider have had their difficulties and the defense has collapsed around them. Vancouver has lost all three of their games by the exact same 4-3 score (though the last two were in a shootout).
Vancouver will definitely be looking for some revenge tonight and as usual it’ll start with the Sedins. Daniel has a three game point streak and points in six of the last seven games while Henrik is on a three game multi-point streak. The twins have really ramped up their games despite the losing streak.
Vancouver has gotten healthy again since that last Stars game. David Booth has returned from his groin injury and Ryan Kesler is now well back into the flow of things. Manny Malhotra is done for the year due to eye issues and Jannik Hansen has been suspended for this game for a cheapshot on Marian Hossa.
I would hazard a guess that Luongo gets the start tonight but it’s a coin toss.
Possible line combos:
D.Sedin – H.Sedin – Burrows
Kassian – Kesler – Higgins
Raymond – Schroeder – Booth
Volpatti – Lapierre – Weise
Edler – Bieksa
Hamhuis – Tanev
Ballard – Garrison
Dallas – 8th in the West
Goals – 20th, Goals Against – 17th, Power Play – 19th, Penalty Kill – 12th
The good feelings that Dallas had after that comeback win over Vancouver were quickly dispelled when they were on the wrong side of such a comeback against the Calgary Flames.
Dallas allowed three third period goals against Calgary and just had the wind taken out their sails as the defense once again self-destructed.
To get back on track tonight, Dallas needs to find the fire that they had in the third period of that Vancouver game. Fight, hit, do whatever is necessary to control the puck and keep the shots on Cris Nilstorp to a minimum.
Jamie Benn finally had his six game point streak broken against the Flames but Cody Eakin has been hot lately with points in three straight. Antoine Roussel has also scored in two straight games. The two depth lines will be key again as they were the x-factor in the last meeting.
Nilstorp gets the start tonight as Lehtonen is still dealing with the groin issue. Ray Whitney is still out with a broken foot and Trevor Daley is out for tonight with a neck problem that kept him out of the third period of the Calgary game.
Dallas made a couple of roster moves in sending down Tom Wandell and Tomas Vincour while bringing up Jordie Benn and Matt Fraser. Benn should see some time but I don’t think Fraser will.
Morrow – Benn – Jagr
Eriksson – Roy – Ryder
Roussel – Eakin – Smith
Nystrom – Fiddler – Garbutt
Dillon – Robidas
Benn – Daley
Goligoski – Larsen