Sunday, February 15, 2009

Canucks/Canadiens Game Day

The Canucks (26-21-8) get set to host the Montreal Canadiens (30-20-6) for the first time in three seasons. These two clubs did not play each other last season. In their last meeting in GM Place, the Canucks built up a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes and went on to win 6-2 Jan. 21/06. The Canucks are also 9-0-1-0 in their last ten head-to-head meetings with the Habs. Mats Sundin leads all Canucks in career head-to-head scoring against the Canadiens (85GP-32g,48a).

Vancouver saw their four-game winning streak come to an end last Friday with a 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. It was just the second time in their last nine games where they didn't collect a point. Shane O'Brien is the only Canuck with points in back-to-back games (2a). The club will go with the exact same line-up as what they did in Dallas two nights ago.

Montreal enters the action having won three times in their last ten games. They snapped a four-game losing streak Friday night with a 4-2 win on the road against the Colorado Avalanche. It was a big night for goalie Jaroslav Halak, who made 46 saves for the victory and he is expected to get the start tonight. Carey Price, despite having more than a couple hundred fans on hand at practice from his hometown of Anaheim Lake, BC is expected to be watching this game from the bench.

The Canadiens have 15 players on their current roster who were Montreal picks in the NHL Entry Draft. They are led in scoring by defenceman Andrei Markov (7g,35a), who is 3rd in the NHL in power play assists (21). Out of all the teams that are currently in the Top 8 in the Eastern Conference standings, they have allowed the most goals against (56GP-168GA).

Here are the expected line-ups for both teams heading into tonight's action:


D. Sedin - H. Sedin - Burrows
Demitra - Sundin - Kesler
Pyatt - Wellwood - Bernier
Hordichuk - Johnson - Hansen

Mitchell - Salo
Ohlund - Edler
Bieksa - O'Brien



Tom Kostopoulos - Saku Koivu - Alex Kovalev
Andrei Kostitsyn - Chris Higgins - Mathieu Dandenault
Matt D'Agostini - Maxim Lapierre - Max Pacioretty
Sergi Kostitsyn - Steve Begin - Georges Laraque/Kyle Chipchura

Andrei Markov - Mike Komisarek
Roman Hamrlik - Patrice Brisebois
Francois Boulion - Josh Georges

Jaroslav Halak
Carey Price

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