Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Canucks/Stars Game Day

The Canucks (36-23-9) go looking for a franchise-best 10-game home ice winning streak tonight as they entertain the Dallas Stars (33-28-8). The Stars have won the previous two meetings between the two clubs, both by a single goal. Steve Bernier (2a), Taylor Pyatt (1g), Darcy Hordichuk (1g), and Kyle Wellwood (1g) lead the Canucks in head-to-head scoring while Mike Modano (1g,2a), Loui Eriksson (1g,2a), and Mike Ribeiro (1g) lead the Stars. Marty Turco has allowed just three goals against on 68 shots, good enough for a 1.44 goals against average and a 95.6 save percentage.

In their last 20 games, the Canucks are an impressive 14-4-2. Alex Burrows puts his four-game goal-scoring streak on the line tonight. He has registered just four shots in two games against Dallas. Daniel Sedin has assists in six straight games, but finds himself a -2 against the Stars this season. Pavol Demitra has averaged a point-per-game in his career against the Stars (20g,26a).

The Stars enter the night alone in 8th spot in the Western Conference, one point behind Nashville and one point ahead of Edmonton. Having won their last two straight games, Dallas had only won two of their previous ten. The Stars has struggled on the power play this season, currently 25th overall in the NHL standings. They have also scored just 18 power play goals on the road, the 2nd lowest total in the entire league.

Mike Ribeiro has been the real deal for the Stars this season in the absence of some key injured forwards like Brendan Morrow and Brad Richards. Ribeiro leading the team in points (66) has a seven-game point scoring streak on the line (4g,6a). Jere Lehtinen returns to the line-up tonight after missing the last six games with an upper body injury.

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


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

Mitchell - Salo
Ohlund - Edler
Bieksa - O'Brien



Steve Ott - Mike Ribiero - Loui Eriksson
Brendan Morrison - Mike Modano - Jere Lehtinen
Chris Conner - Brian Sutherby - James Neal
Krystofer Barch - Steve Begin - Landon Wilson

Matt Niskanen - Darryl Sydor
Stephane Robidas - Trevor Daley
Mark Fistric - Niklas Grossman

Marty Turco
Tobias Stephan

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