Friday, December 5, 2008

Canucks Wild Game Day

After arriving at around 1:00am in St. Paul this morning, the Canucks prepare to take on the Minnesota Wild for the third time this season.

Cory Schneider will get the start tonight in goal after replacing Curtis Sanford in last night's 6-5 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Optional skate today for Vancouver while the Wild had a full complete skate.

Canucks had 12 players hit the score sheet at Joe Louis Arena last night. Kyle Wellwood with a power play goal now has points in four straight games (3g,1a). That includes goals in three straight. Henrik Sedin, who scored for the first time in 14 games last night, now has points in back-to-back games (1g,2a). No major changes are expected in Vancouver's line-up tonight at the Excel Engery Center compared to last night.

The Canucks and the Dallas Stars are the only two teams in the NHL to have beaten the Wild twice this year. Vancouver shut-out Minnesota 2-0 at GM Place Nov. 8. In their most recent meeting Nov. 20, the Canucks came back from two one-goal deficits on the road to beat the Wild 3-2.

The Wild are coming off a 4-0 win at home Wednesday against the St. Louis Blues. Mikko Koivu is on a career-best six-game point scoring streak (4g,6a). Marek Zidlicky has points in his last four (1g,4a) while Pierre-Marc Bouchard has gone three straight with points (3g,3a).

Minnesota is 2nd overall in the NHL on both the power play (26.6%) and penalty kill (89.1%). They are 10-for-20 in their last three games, compared to Vancouver's 3-for-11 in the same period. Goalie Niklas Backstrom made 22 saves for his 3rd shut-out of the season Wednesday night. In 115 career starts, he has allowed three goals or less 100 times!

Here's how the teams match-up tonight;


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

Mitchell - Bieksa
Ohlund - Salo
O'Brien - Edler



Andrew Brunette - Mikko Koivu - Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Antti Miettinen - Benoit Poulliot - Owen Nolan
Stephane Veilleux - Eric Belanger - Brent Burns
Derek Boogaard - James Sheppard - Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Schultz - Kim Johnsson
Martin Skoula - Marek Zidlicky
Marc-Andre Bergeron - Erik Reitz

Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding

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