Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Canucks/Stars Game Day

The Canucks (38-24-9) will attempt to snap a four-game road losing streak tonight against the Dallas Stars (33-31-8) who are looking to break out of a three-game losing skid.

Vancouver won the previous meeting with Dallas by posting a 4-2 win on St.Patrick's Day at GM Place. The Stars were victorious in their other two match-ups (3-2 SO @ VAN Jan. 4/2-1 @ DAL Feb. 13). Steve Bernier (1g,2a), Mats Sundin (1g,1a), Ryan Kesler (1g,1a), and Kyle Wellwood (1g,1a) lead the Canucks in head-to-head scoring against the Dallas. Mike Modano (1g,3a), Loui Eriksson (1g,2a), James Neal (1g,1a), and Mike Ribeiro (1g,1a) lead the Stars.

Ossi Vaananen will indeed make his Canucks debut tonight in Dallas. He joined the club in late February but has been a healthy scratch for the last eleven games. In 46 games with Philadelphia this season, Vaananen had one goal, nine assists, 22 penalty minutes, and was a +7. He'll be paired up with Kevin Bieksa tonight as Shane O'Brien will sit this one out.

The Stars enter the night having gone 4-10-1 in their last 15 games. They have had their struggles on special teams lately, sitting 25th in the NHL on the power play and 23rd on the penalty kill. Brendan Morrison, who is one point shy of 500 for his NHL career, will play at centre tonight after Brad Richards broke his hand in last Saturday's 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks.

Here are the expected line-ups for both teams tonight at the America Airlines Center:






Steve Ott-Mike Ribeiro-Loui Eriksson
James Neal-Mike Modano-Jere Lehtinen
Steve Begin-Brendan Morrison-Chris Conner
Krystofer Barch-Tom Wandell-Fabian Brunnstrom

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

Marty Turco
Tobias Stephan

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