Friday, October 17, 2008

Canucks Face Undefeated Sabres Friday

On the heels of a solid come-from-behind win over the Detroit Red Wings, the Vancouver Canucks are in up-state New York to battle the Buffalo Sabres. This will be their one and only meeting of the season. In fact, the Canucks are the only club from the Northwest Division to play a game in Buffalo this year.

It doesn't look like the Canucks (3-1-0) are going to make any changes to their forwards of defence pairings tonight. However one change that is expected to take place is in the crease as Curtis Sanford will likely get the start and allow Roberto Luongo the night off.

Couple of off-ice notes related to the team:

-Kevin Bieksa is back with the club after having a MRI in Vancouver earlier this week. He injured his knee last Saturday in Calgary, but is healthy to play again. Seeing as he is on the club's injured reserve list, he is not eligible to dress again until the game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

-Although I haven't heard anything official, it sounds like Kyle Wellwood has been placed on waivers by the team. His only appearance for Vancouver came in last Monday's 5-1 loss to the Washington Capitals, where he had just under 11 minutes in ice time and was a -1.

As for the Sabres (3-0-0), they're off to a great start. They have allowed just three goals against in their first three games and they have yet to allow a goal against while skating short-handed. They currently feature the NHL's leading goal scorer Thomas Vanek (5g) and the league's #1 goaltender Ryan Miller (0.93 GAA) .

Here are the expected match-ups for the two clubs at the HSBC Arena:


D. Sedin - H. Sedin - Bernier
Raymond - Demitra - Pyatt
Burrows - Kesler - Hansen
Hordichuk - Johnson - Rypien

Ohlund - Edler
Salo - Mitchell
O'Brien - Nycholat


Scratches: Bieksa, Brown, Davison, Wellwood


Thomas Vanek - Derek Roy - Drew Stafford
Maxim Afinogenov - Adam Mair - Ales Kotalik
Daniel Paille - Clarke MacArthur - Jason Pominville
Patrick Kaleta - Matt Ellis - Andrew Peters

Henrik Tallinder - Craig Rivet
Jaroslav Spacek - Andrej Sekera
Toni Lydman - Teppo Numminen

Ryan Miller
Patrick Lalime

Scratches: Tim Connolly, Nathan Paetsch, Paul Gaustad, Jochen Hecht

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