Friday, February 13, 2009

Canucks/Stars Game Day

The Canucks (26-20-8) go searching for their fifth win in a row tonight as they wrap up a three-game road trip against the Dallas Stars (26-20-7). In their previous meeting of the season, the Stars posted a 3-2 shoot-out win at GM Place Jan. 4. Kyle Wellwood and Darcy Hordichuk had the Canucks goals while Mike Modano and Mike Ribeiro scored for Dallas. James Neal, who is currently the NHL's leading rookie goal scorer, had the winner in the shoot-out.

Jason LaBarbera is expected to get the start tonight in goal after Roberto Luongo appeared in the last nine games. LaBarbera's last game was Jan. 9 in a 6-4 home ice loss to the St. Louis Blues. His last start on the road was a 4-2 Canucks win over the Edmonton Oilers Jan. 7.

The Canucks will go with the exact same line-up tonight as they did in their 4-3 win last night against the Phoenix Coyotes. Canucks defencemen contributed for seven points in last night's victory. Pavol Demitra enters the action riding a four game point scoring streak (2g,6a).

The Stars are coming off a 1-0 loss at home against the Coyotes on Wednesday. Prior to that Dallas had won seven of their last nine. This team has been excellent at home, going 11-2-1 in their last 14 at the American Airlines Arena. While their power play sits 20th overall in the NHL, they have been very good lately, going 12-for-39 in their last seven games (30.8%).

The Stars are featuring one of the hottest lines in the NHL right now. The combo of Ribeiro, Jere Lehtinen, and Steve Ott has combined for 36 points in their last nine games. Goalie Marty Turco will be making his 25th straight start in net for Dallas tonight, which will also be his 51st game of the season.

Here are the expected line combonations for both clubs for tonight's game:


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

Mitchell - Salo
Ohlund - Edler
Bieksa - O'Brien



Steve Ott - Mike Ribeiro - Jere Lehtinen
James Neal - Mike Modano - Fabian Brunstrom
Joel Lundqvist - Mike Richards - Loui Eriksson
Brian Sutherby - Toby Petersen - Krys Barch

Trevor Daley - Stephane Robidas
Darryl Sydor - Matt Niskinen
Nicklas Grossman - Andrew Hutchinson

Marty Turco
Brent Krahn

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