NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, February 21st
(All times Eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (8-3-4) at Dallas Stars (8-7-1), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks hope to snap a season-high, three-
game losing streak on Thursday night as they face off with the Dallas Stars
for the second time in a week.
The Canucks' current slide comes after the club won six straight, but the last
two losses have both come in a shootout. That includes a 4-3 setback in
Chicago to the Blackhawks on Tuesday, two days after a home loss to the St.
Vancouver earned its point versus Chicago, getting two goals late in the third
-- Alexander Edler with 2:42 left in the frame and Kevin Bieksa with 1:01 on
the clock -- to tie the game. Daniel Sedin also scored and Cory Schneider made
40 saves before giving up a pair of goals in the shootout.
The Canucks' Jannik Hansen took a roughing penalty early in the third
following a collision with the Blackhawks' Marian Hossa. He hit the Chicago
winger with an elbow to the head on the play and Hossa remained on the ice for
a bit before skating off under his own power.
"It was a loose puck and he kind of got to it first," said Hansen. "I think I
kind of grazed him on the back of his shoulders and then he goes down. But I
don't see what happens after that because the play was still going on."
The league disagreed on Wednesday, hitting Hansen with a one-game suspension
and he'll miss the second contest of a four-game road trip tonight.
Vancouver's losing streak began with a 4-3 home loss to Dallas on Friday, a
defeat that spoiled Henrik Sedin becoming the team's all-time leader in
points. He had a pair of assists to pass Markus Naslund (756 points), but the
Stars' Brenden Dillon netted the game-winner with 3:01 left in the third.
Richard Bachman replaced an injured Kari Lehtonen in the first period and
stopped 18-of-21 shots en route to the victory, just the Stars' third in their
last 11 versus the Canucks.
They have also lost four of their past five at home against Vancouver.
Bachman had given up six goals on 22 shots in a loss to the Flames two days
earlier and then got the start in the rematch with Calgary on Sunday after
Lehtonen was placed on injured reserve because of a groin injury. Bachman
struggled again, giving up four goals on 26 shots, including three in the
third period after the Stars had gone up by two thanks to three goals of their
own in the second.
"It's very disappointing, very disappointing that we didn't come out with two
points here at home," Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We needed to be
stronger in front of our net."
Antoine Roussel, Reilly Smith and Ryan Garbutt all scored in defeat as Dallas
suffered just its second setback in eight games. Both came against Calgary.
"It's tough to swallow when you're going into the third period winning by two
goals," Smith said. "It's very frustrating."
Dallas also lost defenseman Trevor Daley to a neck injury and he may sit out
this game. That led to the Stars recalling blueliner Jordie Benn as well as
forward Matt Fraser from the AHL on Wednesday.
Benn, who has played in 11 NHL games, has 21 points in 40 minor league games
this season, while Fraser was tied for third in the AHL with 24 goals (13 on
the power play) at the time of his call-up.
Cristopher Nilstorp is expected to make his third career start for the Stars
on Thursday. He has lost his previous two with a 2.70 goals against average
and .918 save percentage.
02/21 10:49:20 ET