- The struggling Vancouver Canucks (13-9-6) will try to close out their home stand on a high note when they host the St. Louis Blues (16-10-2) tonight at Rogers Arena.
- The slumping Canucks come into tonight's game having lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since late February and with just three wins in their last 11 outings (3-6-2).
- The Canucks have also lost back-to-back regulation games on home ice for the first time this season and are in danger of posting their first three-game outright losing streak on home ice since January 9 to 15, 2009 when they dropped four consecutive regulation decisions to the Blues, Sharks, Devils and Coyotes. That streak was part of an overall nine-game home winless streak (0-6-3) that stretched from December 30, 2008 to January 31, 2009.
- The Blues have won three straight games coming into tonight's outing. A victory tonight would equal a season-high streak for them that they set back at the end of January.
- St. Louis is beginning a three-game Western Canada road swing tonight. After tonight, they won't resume their trip until this weekend when they visit Edmonton on Saturday and wrap up in Calgary on Sunday.
- Tonight marks the second of three meetings between the Canucks and Blues this season, and the second and final trip of the season for the Blues to Rogers Arena. In their first meeting this season back on February 17, the Blues battled back twice from one-goal deficits to earn a 4-3 shootout victory. Blues rookie G Jake Allen made 28 saves on 31 shots for the win.
- Speaking of Allen, he appears to be the new top dog for the Blues between the pipes. He has started the last three straight games and has won his last five straight starts. He's off to a scintillating start to his NHL career posting an 8-1-0 record so far with a 2.18 GAA and a .920 save percentage with one shutout. He will get the start tonight.
- After G Roberto Luongo got a somewhat surprise start in net last night against the Wild, G Cory Schneider will get the nod tonight given the disappointing result from last night. Schneider has only started two career games against the Blues. He has a 1-1-0 record against St. Louis with a 2.50 GAA and a .918 save percentage.
- The Canucks begin play today sitting seventh place in the Western Conference and could drop down to eighth by the end of the night with a regulation loss coupled with the Coyotes victory over the Kings. A win, on the other hand, could vault the Canucks to as high as fifth place in the West.
- Canucks F Henrik Sedin leads all players in the season series against the Blues with two points (1-1-2). No other player on either team has more than one point.
- If you think the Canucks' power play has been slumping lately, just check out their faceoff statistics. Vancouver has won more than 50 percent of draws in a game just once in their last 12 outings. They only managed to win 32 percent last night which is tied for their worst night in the faceoff circle this season (January 27 in San Jose).
- 0-0-1 - Last Meeting: 3-4 SO/L (FEB.17.13)
- 13-9-6, 32 pts
- Henrik Sedin: 27 Points
- Daniel & Henrik Sedin: 8 Goals Tie
- Henrik Sedin: 19 Assists
- 16-10-2, 34 pts
- Chris Stewart: 28 Points
- Chris Stewart: 14 Goals
- Kevin Shattenkirk: 17 Assists
- The secondary scorers step up. After having a strong outing against Nashville five nights ago, Vancouver's bottom-three lines have gone completely MIA. No forwards, outside of the twins and Alex Burrows, have managed a single point in the last two straight games. That clearly needs to change tonight.
- They don't fall asleep in the third. To say the third period has been dreadful for the Canucks lately would be an understatement. So far on this current home stand, Vancouver has been out-scored by a combined 7-3 in the third periods. Those numbers might actually flatter the Canucks when you consider one of those third period goals they scored came on a penalty shot while another was an empty-netter.
- The power play has a flashback. The man-advantage has not been sharp on many occasions for the Canucks – especially lately – but they had a rare strong outing the last time they faced the Blues back on February 17 when they went 2-for-4 on the power play. After bumping their long power play slump last night, hopefully they can build on that tonight against a Blues penalty kill that has struggled somewhat on the road this season.
- They keep riding Allen's hot hand. The Blues' rookie netminder has been on fire lately guiding his team to three straight wins while allowing just three goals on 97 shots during that stretch for a .969 save percentage. Allen has not allowed more than three goals in any of his starts this season.
- They put some pressure on Schneider. Knowing the Canucks' netminders, be it Luongo or Schneider, haven't exactly been playing at the top of their game lately, the Blues will want to direct a few more pucks on net if only to test just how confident the netminder is. The Blues have been held to just 21 shots on net in two of their last three outings and in their first meeting of the season versus Vancouver had only 23 shots on target despite scoring three times.
- They get a boost from their returning players. The once-battered Blues are starting to get healthy again. After welcoming back the likes of Alex Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko last week, they'll likely get another body back tonight in the form of Andy McDonald. Having their lineup get close to fully healthy is an encouraging sign for their club and it's something the Blues can use for confidence.
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Alexandre Burrows
Mason Raymond – Andrew Ebbett – Jannik Hansen
Zack Kassian – Chris Higgins – Dale Weise
Steve Pinizzotto – Maxim Lapierre – Tom Sestito
Alexander Edler – Kevin Bieksa
Dan Hamhuis – Jason Garrison
Keith Ballard – Christopher Tanev
Injured: Ryan Kesler, Manny Malhotra, David Booth
Alex Steen - David Backes - Chris Stewart
Andy McDonald - Patrik Berglund - David Perron
Jaden Schwartz - Vladimir Sobotka - Vladimir Tarasenko
Chris Porter - Scott Nichol - Ryan Reaves
Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk
Wade Redden - Ian Cole
Kris Russell - Roman Polak
Edited by Strombone1, 19 March 2013 - 12:06 PM.