One of the hottest teams in the NHL will take on one of the worst tonight as the Vancouver Canucks, (18-10-2) visit the RBC to battle the Carolina Hurricanes, (9-18-5). The Canucks are 9-1-1 in their last 11 while the Hurricanes are 1-7-2 in their last 10.
The Canes are 4-13-2 in their last 19 games.
It has been discussed at length, but of course Carolina's leading scorer, Jeff Skinner, is on the shelf with a concussion, so the club is hoping for other players to step up. New coach Kirk Muller has been switching up the lines a bit since the last time the team was at the RBC. According to CH.com, they should start out as follows:
- Tlusty, Staal, Dwyer
- Ruutu, Jokinen, Ponikarovsky
- LaRose, Sutter, Bowman
- Stewart, Brent, Nodl
- Gleason, McBain
- Faulk, Spacek
- Allen, Joslin
Jay Harrison and Joni Pitkanen remain out.
Look for Cam Ward to start in net for Carolina.
The Canes face many backups these days and tonight will be no different, although Cory Schneider has played almost as many games as Roberto Luongo for Vancouver and has a much better save percentage.
|2011 - Cam Ward||27||1520||9||13||84||3.32||826||742||.898||1|
|2011 - Cory Schneider||15||771||7||4||26||2.02||391||365||.934||2|
The lines for the Canucks will be as follows, if you can interpret the nicknames:
The Professor - KesLORD - Beaker
MayRay - Chinook - Lappy
God - Money Mo - Weise's Pieces
Hammer - Juice
E Money - Undead
Hips - A-Train
Check out the rest of the game preview from the visitor's perspective over at Nucks Misconduct, our fine SBN partner.
Eric Staal has points in his last four games for the Canes.
The Canucks won the only meeting between the teams last year with a 5-1 win in Vancouver.
The boys will be back in black and will wear their popular third jerseys tonight.
FSN will have the television broadcast starting with the pregame show with Bob Harwood at 6:30. We will have the live blog/open thread ready to go at 6:30, and as always, will provide some invaluable insight from press row.