Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Canucks/Canadiens Game Day

The Canucks (30-21-8) put the finishing touches on their cross-Canada road trip tonight at the Bell Centre against the Montreal Canadiens (31-22-7).

This will be the second and final meeting of the season between the two clubs. The 4-1 Canucks win at home over the Habs Feb. 15 saw a scoreline that flattered the visitors. The Canucks out-shot Montreal 29-15 through the first two periods and the line of Daniel Sedin (1g,1a), Henrik Sedin (1g,1a), and Alex Burrows (2a) combined for six points and a +6 rating. That night was just the fourth time in Canucks history the club didn't go short-handed in the game. It was also a night that saw Canadiens leading scorer Andrei Markov go -3. Tonight the Canucks go searching for their 12th straight victory against the Habs.

Burrows and Daniel each have four-game point scoring streaks on the line tonight in Montreal. Burrows has two goals and five assists while Sedin has two goals and four assists in the same stretch.

The Canucks have won four straight and eight of their last nine. Montreal native Roberto Luongo has won his last eight straight starts. They are 5-2-0 against teams from the Northeast Division this season. Their latest 3-2 shoot-out win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday was Vancouver's 12th win this season when either trailing or tied heading into a third period.

The Canadiens are coming off a 5-3 win at home Saturday against the Ottawa Senators. The Habs are 7-2-1 in their last ten home games. However this team has really struggled lately as their win against Ottawa was just their fourth victory in their last 16 games. One bright spot has been the team's success on the power play, as the Habs have scored seven power play goals in their last three games.

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





Tom Kostopoulos-Saku Koivu-Alexi Kovalev
Max Pacioretty-Maxim Lapierre-Andrei Kostitsyn
Matt D'Agostini-Tom Plekanec-Chris Higgins
Gregory Stewart-Mathieu Dandenault-Kyle Chipchura

Andrei Markov-Mathieu Schneider
Josh Gorges-Patrice Brisebois
Roman Hamrlik-Mike Komisarek

Jaroslav Halak
Carey Price

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