|VAN||1||2||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|MIN||1||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
TIME: Tuesday, 8 p.m. EDT.
After missing all of the preseason and first six games of the regular season recovering from a groin injury, Marian Gaborik returned to show the offensive brilliance that has made him the Minnesota Wild's all-time leading scorer.
A strained hip flexor, though, will keep Gaborik out of the lineup when Minnesota meets the Vancouver Canucks for the third time this season.
Gaborik, the third overall pick in the 2000 draft, scored twice during Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks to give him two goals and four assists in three games since returning from the groin injury.
Gaborik appeared to re-injure the groin Sunday and did not play late in the contest. Wild assistant general manager Tom Lynn reported Monday that Gaborik has a strained hip flexor, will miss this game and is listed as day-to-day.
"I guess we just have to wait," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "We'll do what we did without him in the past and wait until he feels good and he's ready to play."
Without Gaborik, the Wild will continue to look to veteran center Marc Chouinard for offense. Chouinard has two goals and five assists during a four-game points streak.
Minnesota is looking for its season-high third straight win at Xcel Energy Center as it faces a Vancouver team that has won five straight to move four points ahead of the Wild for first place in the Northwest Division.
The Canucks extended their streak with a 6-4 win Saturday over the Colorado Avalanche.
Vancouver has scored 25 goals during the win streak and has been paced by Markus Naslund and Ed Jovanovski.
Naslund, who leads the Canucks in goals and points, has two goals and five assists during a five-game points streak. Assists leader Jovanovski has two goals and six assists during a four-game points streak.
The Canucks have also shown solid special-teams play recently, scoring 10 power-play goals in the last four games to move from 25th to 12th in the league.
STANDINGS: Canucks - 15 points, 1st place, Northwest Division. Wild - 11 points, 2nd place, 4 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Canucks - Naslund, 6 goals and 12 points; Jovanovski, 8 assists; Todd Bertuzzi, 19 PIM. Wild - Chouinard, 6 goals and 11 points; Todd White, 7 assists; Derek Boogaard, 23 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 23): Canucks - Power play: 18.9 percent (14 for 74), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 77.0 percent (37 for 48), 26th. Wild - Power play: 28.8 percent (13 for 45), 1st. Penalty killing: 94.3 percent (50 for 53), 2nd.
GOALTENDERS: Canucks - Dan Cloutier (5-1-1, 3.12 GAA); Alex Auld (2-0-0, 2.00). Wild - Manny Fernandez (3-0-1, 1.48); Dwayne Roloson (2-3-0, 1 SO, 2.62).
SEASON SERIES: 1-1.
LAST MEETING: Oct. 14; Canucks, 5-3. At St. Paul, Minn., Richard Park, a former member of the Wild, had a goal and two assists to lead Vancouver.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Canucks - 2-1-1 on the road; Wild - 4-1-0 at home.