Thursday, November 20, 2008

Canucks/Wild Game Day In St. Paul

The Canucks (11-6-2) appear at the Xcel Energy Center for the first time this season to play on the road against the Wild (11-4-1). Whoever wins this game will enter the weekend in sole possession of top spot in the Northwest Division.

Vancouver only had a few players on the ice this morning for an optional game day skate. After facing 42 shots in a 6-3 win last night over the New York Rangers, Roberto Luongo is going to get a well-deserved rest. After watching the last 14 games from the bench, Curtis Sanford will get the start against Minnesota. His one and only start of the season (also his last appearance on the ice) was Oct. 17 in Buffalo. That night, the Sabres built up a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes and wound up winning 5-2. Sanford made 26 saves in the loss.

Sami Salo is not likely to play tonight as he's under the weather. The Canucks have called up Nolan Baumgartner from the Manitoba Moose. He's led all Moose d-men in scoring this seaosn with a goal and five assists in 12 games in the AHL.

The Wild are currently averaging 1.91 goals against this season. With just 31 goals allowed in 16 games, they lead the league in that category and they also sport the top penalty kill in the NHL (4 goals in 64 PK's). What makes it even more interesting is that they're the most penalized team in the league, averaging just over five minors per game.

They're coming off back-to-back shoot-out wins over Pittsburgh on Tuesday (2-1) and Columbus last Saturday (3-2). D-man Marek Zidlicky scored the winner in both games.

In their last meeting, the Canucks posted a 2-0 win over the Wild at GM Place Nov. 8. Salo and Daniel Sedin each scored while Henrik Sedin and Kevin Bieksa each had a pair of assists. Luongo collected the shut-out as both teams were tied 29-29 in shots.

No comments: