Thursday, December 4, 2008

Canucks & Red Wings Game Day

The Canucks (14-9-2) and Red Wings (16-4-4) match-up for the fourth and final time this season. Vancouver is 2-1-0 against Detroit, with both victories coming in overtime.

Curtis Sanford is likely to get the start tonight against the Wings. In his last meeting with Detroit, he stopped 32 shots in a 4-3 win at GM Place on November 24.

The team had an optional skate this morning with Sanford and Schneider in net and Hordichuk, Jaffray, Brown, Nycholat, and Davision as the five skaters.

Sami Salo leads all Canucks in scoring against the Red Wings this season (1g,3a) while Mason Raymond and Daniel Sedin each have 1g,2a.

The Red Wings are without Tomas Holmstrom (back), Darren McCarty (groin) and will not have Chris Chelios in the line-up. The future Hall of Fame d-man is on his way to the Wings AHL team in Grand Rapids, Michigan for a conditioning stint after missing the start to the season with a broken tibia.

Mikael Samuellson (2g,2a) and Pavel Datsyuk (1g,3a) lead Detroit in scoring against the Canucks. Chris Osgood, likely getting the start tonight, has allowed nine goals against in three meetings with Vancouver.

Detroit has dominated the special teams aspect of this head-to-head series so far. The Wings are 6-for-13 on the power play (46.2%) while the Canucks have gone 1-for-14 (7.1%)

Tonight is also Igor Larionov Night at Joe Louis Arena. The Wings are honouring the one-time Canuck on his recent induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Here are the expected line combos and defensive pairings for tonight's game:


D. Sedin - H. Sedin - Demitra
Pyatt - Wellwood - Bernier
Burrows - Kesler - Hansen
Raymond - Jaffray - Brown

Mitchell - Bieksa
Ohlund - Salo
O'Brien - Edler


Red Wings:

Dan Cleary - Pavel Datsyuk - Marian Hossa
Johan Franzen - Henrik Zetterberg - Mikael Samuellson
Jiri Hudler - Valtteri Filppula - Tomas Kopecky
Derek Meech - Kris Draper - Kirk Maltby

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

Chris Osgood
Ty Conklin

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