Dallas Stars (7-6-1, 15 pts) @ Vancouver Canucks (8-2-2, 18 pts)
9:00 PM CT
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
The Canucks – 3rd in the West
Goals – 11th, Goals Against – 3rd, Power Play – 19th, Penalty Kill – 22th
Vancouver enters tonight as one of the hottest teams in the league. They’ve won six in a row and have been getting it done on all fronts.
Their defense has allowed one goal or fewer in five of those six games (two goals allowed in the other game) while their offense has scored three or more goals in four of those six games (two goals in the other two).
It’s tough to find a portion of this team that isn’t doing well right now. Daniel Sedin leads the team in points (10) while Zack Kassian leads the team in goals (five). The hot player on the team at the moment is Mason Raymond. Raymond is on a four game point streak and is third on the team in points.
The defense for the team has been spectacular this year (aside from the first game in which they allowed seven goals to Anaheim). Supposed starter Cory Schneider has been very good this season but Roberto Luongo has been one of the best goalies in the NHL so far.
Luongo is 4-0-2 with a 1.45 GAA and .943 save percentage this year and has won four games in a row. Luckily(?) for Dallas, it looks like Schneider is getting the nod tonight. Schneider has won his last two starts and allowed a total of two goals on 57 shots.
As if all that wasn’t tough enough for the Stars, the Canucks get second line center Ryan Kesler back from shoulder surgery tonight. Roll all that up into a ball and the Stars have a very difficult road game tonight.
Vancouver has been a very healthy team so far this year. Only two players have missed significant time: Kesler and winger David Booth.
Kesler returns to play his first game of the season tonight but the Canucks will be without Booth (groin) and Manny Malhotra. Malhotra will most likely have to retire due to his eye issues.
The Canucks have owned the Stars recently. They’ve won 11 of the past 14 games against Dallas and Schneider has won four straight against the Stars.
Possible line combos:
D. Sedin – H. Sedin – Burrows
Kassian – Kesler – Higgins
Raymond – Schroeder – Hansen
Volpatti – Lapierre – Weise
Edler – Bieksa
Hamhuis – Garrison
Tanev – Ballard