Thursday, October 16, 2008

Canucks In Motor City

It won't be an easy way to try and bounce back into the win column for the Canucks this evening as they get set for their first meeting against the defending Stanley Cup Champions. However, they do have a bit of luck going for them as they head into tonight's match-up against the Detroit Red Wings.

Vancouver held an optional skate at Joe Louis Arena this morning after a full team practice yesterday. The club will go back to their opening-night line-up as far as forwards are concerned while bringing in a new face on defence. That means Darcy Hordichuk comes back on to the line with Ryan Johnson and Rick Rypien while Lawrence Nycolet appears on defence to be paired up alongside Shane O'Brien.

As for the Wings, they will be without one of their most potent offensive threats as Henrik Zetterberg is sidelined with a groin injury suffered yesterday in practice. In his absence, Detroit has called up forward Darren Helm from their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids.

Here are the expected line combos and defensive pairings for both teams:


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

Ohlund - Edler
Salo - Mitchell
Nycolet - O'Brien


(Scratches: Bieksa, Davison, Brown, Wellwood)

Red Wings

Tomas Holmstrom - Pavel Datsyuk - Marian Hossa
Johan Franzen - Valtteri Filppula - Mikael Samuelsson
Dan Cleary - Kris Draper - Jiri Hudler
Thomas Kopecky - Darren Helm - Kirk Maltby

Andreas Lilja - Nicklas Lidstrom
Brad Stuart - Brian Rafalski
Brett Lebda - Niklas Kronwall

Chris Osgood
Ty Conklin

(Scratches: Derek Meech, Henrik Zetterberg, Darren McCarty, Chris Chelios)

Last season, the Canucks went 1-3-0, which included two losses at Joe Louis Arena. Face off for tonight's first meeting of the year is at 4:30pm PST.

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