Team Record: 11-5-4
Last Game: 5-2 W vs Los Angeles (MAR.02.13)
Season Series: 2-0-0
Last Meeting: 5-1 W (FEB.09.13) Team Record: 7-8-4
Last Game: 4-5 L at Colorado (FEB.28.13)
Season Series: 0-1-1
Last Meeting: 1-5 L (FEB.09.13)
The Vancouver Canucks (11-5-4) will look to pick up their second win in less than 24 hours when they head to the Scotiabank Saddledome for a Northwest Division battle against the Calgary Flames (7-8-4).
What You Need to Know
- The Canucks snapped a two-game losing streak yesterday with their 5-2 win over the Kings on home ice. They'll try to string together back-to-back wins for the first time in just over a week tonight.
- The Flames are coming off a winless two-game road trip that saw them blow third period leads in losses to both the Wild and Avalanche, respectively. They are beginning a short two-game home stand tonight and are looking to extend their home win streak to three games.
- Tonight marks the third of five meetings between the Canucks and Flames this season. Vancouver is off to a 2-0-0 start in the season series. In their most recent meeting on February 9, Canucks F Jordan Schroeder scored twice and G Cory Schneider made 33 saves on 34 shots to lift Vancouver to a 5-1 win.
- This is the first of two visits the Canucks will make to the Scotiabank Saddledome this season. Vancouver is winless in their last two trips to Calgary (0-1-1).
- Canucks F Daniel Sedin leads all players in the season series with three points (0-3-3). No Flames players have more than a single point in the season series.
- This is the Canucks' first game against a divisional opponent since February 12 against Minnesota. Vancouver is 6-0-1 against Northwest Division teams while the Flames are only 2-3-3 against divisional foes.
- There's a good chance Canucks G Roberto Luongo will get back between the pipes for the first time since his forgettable outing in Detroit a week ago. Should he start, it would be his first appearance in this year's season series against the Flames. Luongo has a 23-11-4 career record versus Calgary with a 2.49 GAA and .919 save percentage along with one shutout.
- Flames G Joey MacDonald, who was claimed off waivers from Detroit on February 11, will likely get the start tonight. He will be the third different netminder to start a game against the Canucks in the season series.
- Canucks F Daniel Sedin (3-1-4), Henrik Sedin (1-4-5) and Chris Higgins (2-1-3) each bring a three-game point streak into tonight's game.
- Flames F Alex Tanguay (2-3-5) and D Jay Bouwmeester (1-3-4) each bring a team-leading four-game point streak into tonight's game. F Mike Cammalleri has a three-game point streak (2-1-3).
Tonight's game faces off at 5 pm PT and can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific. Listen live on The TEAM 1040 Sports Radio or online at teamradio.ca.
Those away from a TV or radio can follow @CanucksGame on Twitter for live in-game play-by-play.
Keys to the Game
The Canucks Win If...
- They aren't afraid to trade scoring opportunities. Given Calgary's struggles to keep the puck out of their own net this season, Vancouver has to like their chances in a run-and-gun style game. They've already had plenty of offensive success in the season series out-scoring the Flames by a combined 7-3 score after two games played.
- They use yesterday's victory as a template. Even if their roster isn't 100 percent healthy, yesterday's win should show the Canucks how dominant they can be if they put in a full 60-minute effort. There might not be able to duplicate the same emotion in tonight's contest as they had last night but they can duplicate the effort level.
- They draw some penalties. The Canucks haven't managed to score a single power play goal in four straight games but they've only gotten eight combined man-advantage opportunities over that stretch. They'll need to find a way to get their power play out there more often especially against a Flames team that has the worst home penalty killing in the league (71.4 percent).
The Flames Win If...
- They avoid another late game collapse. Calgary has been out-scored by a combined 4-0 in third periods over their last two outings. They need to find a way to finish off their opponent, especially if they take a lead into the final frame.
- They aren't always playing catch-up. There's no guarantee the Flames will win if they get a lead but it would certainly give them more of a fighting chance. They have yet to lead for even a single second in the season series through two games played.
- The defense gets in on the scoring. Flames blue-liners have yet to record a single point in the season series and that will need to change at some point if Calgary hopes to change their fortunes around.
If Jordan Schroeder could hop into a time machine, he'd probably want to go back in time to the last time his team faced the Flames. On that February 9 evening, Schroeder scored the first two goals of his NHL career and looked like he was poised to break out in a big way. Unfortunately things haven't quite worked out that way.
Since that aforementioned memorable outing, the 22-year-old has only managed one assist over his last nine games. As a result of his lack of production he's seen his role and ice-time steadily decrease. Last night he saw a season-low 7:34 of ice-time and was relegated to fourth-line duty.
Schroeder will try to bump the slump tonight against that same Flames team he lit up nearly a month ago. If he fails to record a point in tonight's contest, he would see his point drought extend to five games which would mark a new season-high for him. JAY BOUWMEESTER
If the Flames are to manage to finally end their long playoff drought, one of the players they'll need to step up for them in the final two months of the season is Jay Bouwmeester. It's probably a good sign then that the former third overall pick seems to be enjoying perhaps his finest stretch of offensive success since becoming a Flame.
Bouwmeester come into tonight's game leading all Calgary blue-liners with 11 points which includes four goals – just one goal shy of equaling his entire output from last season. He's currently riding a four-game point streak which equals his longest as a Flame and his longest since November 14 – 21, 2009. His personal career-best point streak is six games – a feat he managed three times while with the Florida Panthers.
Bouwmeester will try to extend his point streak to five straight games tonight against a Canucks team he has gone point-less against in two games this season. In 26 career games versus Vancouver, Bouwmeester has only managed to amass one goal and six points.
Line up changes:
Bieksa out, Ballard stays out, Barker in.
D-Pairs: Alberts-Tanev / Hamhuis-Garrison / Edler-Barker
Edited by Beluga Whale, 03 March 2013 - 05:02 PM.