Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Canucks/Wild Game Day

The Canucks (32-22-8) play their final game before the NHL trade deadline tonight as they entertain the Minnesota Wild (30-26-5). The Canucks are 3-0-1 against the Wild this season, having out-scored the opposition 10-7. Henrik Sedin (6a), Kevin Bieksa (1g,3a), and Daniel Sedin (2g,1a) lead Vancouver in head-to-head scoring while Mikko Koivu (4g), Marc-Andre Bergeron (2g,1a), and Pierre-Marc Bouchard (3a) lead all Wild skaters.

The Canucks are riding a season-high five-game home ice winning streak into tonight's game. They are also an impressive 9-4-3 against Northwest Division rivals. In the last seven games, a combined 24 points have come from the line of Daniel Sedin (2g,5a), Henrik Sedin (2g,7a), and Alex Burrows (3g,5a). Mattias Ohlund is one point shy from tying Jyrki Lumme and Dennis Kearns for the franchise record for points by a defenceman (321).

The Wild come to town hitting the midway point of a season-high six game road trip. Having lost their first two games against Calgary and Edmonton, Minnesota currently sits seven points back of the Canucks and two points out of a playoff spot.

Wild #1 netminder Niklas Backstrom shouldn't have any trouble being motivated for tonight's game. Fresh off signing a 4-year contract extension this morning, Backstrom will be making roughly $6 million per season.

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



Andrew Brunette - Mikko Koivu - Antti Miettinen
Owen Nolan - Eric Belanger - Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Stephane Veilleux - James Sheppard - Cal Clutterbuck
Dan Fritsche - Peter Olvecky - Craig Weller/Colton Gillies

Brent Burns - Nick Schultz
Kim Johnsson - Martin Skoula
Marc-Andre Bergeron - Marek Zidlicky

Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding

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