Saturday, March 7, 2009

Canucks/Sharks Game Day

The Canucks (33-22-8) get set for their fourth and final meeting of the season against the NHL-leading San Jose Sharks (42-11-10).

The Sharks are 3-0-0 against Vancouver this season, having out-scored the opposition 11-3. Daniel Sedin, Taylor Pyatt and Mats Sundin have scored for the Canucks while Henrik Sedin has chipped in three assists. Patrick Marleau (4g,3a), Joe Thorton (1g,5a), and Devin Setoguchi (2g,1a) lead and San Jose players in head-to-head scoring. The Canucks have gone a combined 1-for-9 on the power play against San Jose while the Sharks have gone 5-for-16.

The Canucks are 11-3-1 in their last 15 games, a record that was clearly printed on the chalkboard inside the visitors locker room this morning. Vancouver is also riding a six-game home-ice winning streak, out-scoring their opponents 24-12 in that span. In the last two games, eight points have been generated by the line of Alex Burrows (3g), Henrik Sedin (3a), and Daniel Sedin (2a). The Canucks are also an impressive 12-3-0 when Burrows scores this season.

Despite leading the NHL with 94 points, the Sharks have lost three straight and have just one win in their last five games. They are without the services of their #1 goalie Evgeni Nabokov, who's missed the last four games (2-flu, 2-lower body injury). Brian Boucher is their go-to-guy now in net, sporting a 10-3-3 record in 17 appearances this season.

Travis Moen will make his debut in a Sharks uniform tonight. Acquired at the NHL trade deadline from the Anaheim Ducks, the former Stanley Cup game winning goal scorer will play on a line with Jonathan Cheechoo and Tomas Plihal.

Here are the expected line-ups for both teams:


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

Mitchell - Salo
Ohlund - Edler
Bieksa - O'Brien



Patrick Marleau - Joe Thorton - Devin Setoguchi
Milan Michalek - Joe Pavalski - Ryane Clowe
Travis Moen - Tomas Plihal - Jonathan Cheechoo
Jody Shelley - Jamie McGinn - Brad Staubitz

Rob Blake - Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Douglas Murray - Dan Boyle
Brad Lukowich - Christian Ehrhoff/Alexi Semenov

Brian Boucher
Thomas Greiss

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