Sunday, March 15, 2009

Canucks/Avalanche Game Day

The Canucks (35-23-9) get set to play their third of six regular season meetings tonight against the Colorado Avalanche (31-37-1). The Avs have won the previous two match-ups in shoot-outs (2-1 Nov. 12 @ GM Place and 5-4 Dec. 7 @ Pepsi Center). Steve Bernier (2g), Darcy Hordichuk (1g), Taylor Pyatt (1g), and Daniel Sedin (1g) lead the Canucks in head-to-head scoring while Paul Stastny (4a), Milan Hejduk (1g,3a), Ryan Smyth (1g), and Marek Svatos (1g) lead the Avalanche.

The Canucks pulled off their season-high eighth straight home ice win Friday night with a 4-2 win against the L.A. Kings. Henrik Sedin's two-goal performance in the third period gave him 101 goals for his NHL career. Daniel Sedin extended his point scoring streak to six games (6a) but he's gone nine in a row without scoring. Alex Burrows is currently riding a career-high three-game goal scoring streak. The team is not expected to make any changes to tonight's line-up.

The Avalanche, despite being a non-playoff contender, have won their last two and three of their last four. Coming off a 3-2 overtime win last night against the Edmonton Oilers, the Avs have been in 37 one-goal games this season, the most of any team in the NHL.

Milan Hejduk has 34 career goals against the Canucks in 57 games. Since Hejduk started in the NHL in 1998, no other player in the league has scored more goals against the Canucks. Wojtek Wolski leads the NHL in shoot-out goals this season (8-for-9) and he is also the league's all-time leader in shoot-out percentage (15-for-23=65.2%). Darcy Tucker, who had one of the three Avs goals last night in Edmonton, is celebrating his 34th birthday today.

Here are the expected line-ups for both teams tonight:


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

Mitchell - Salo
Ohlund - Edler
Bieksa - O'Brien



Milan Hejduk - Paul Stastny - Marek Svatos
Ryan Smyth - Wojtek Wolski - Brian Willsie
Darcy Tucker - Ben Guite - Ian Laperriere
Cody McLeod - T.J. Hensick - Chris Stewart

Brett Clark - Scott Hannan
John-Michael Liles - Lawrence Nycholat
Ruslan Selai - Daniel Tjarnqvist

Peter Budaj
Andrew Raycroft

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