Canucks, Wings primed for super showdown
Wednesday, 02.22.2012 / 7:24 PM
Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing EditorCANUCKS (38-16-6) at RED WINGS (41-18-2)
: NHLN-US (HD), SNET-P (HD), FS-D
: Vancouver 7-1-2; Detroit 7-2-1.
: This is the fourth and final meeting between the clubs. The Wings have won two of the first three matchups, including a 4-3 shootout on Feb. 2 at Rogers Arena.
: The top two teams in the Western Conference collide in what is primed to be an epic showdown in Motown. Detroit enters Thursday's showdown just two points ahead of Vancouver, although the Canucks have a game in hand. Vancouver is faced with a remarkably tough task when you consider the Red Wings have won a League-record 23 consecutive games at Joe Louis Arena.
: Vancouver was 9-0-3 in its last 12 games heading into Tuesday's match at Nashville. While the Canucks played a solid road game, they came up short against Pekka Rinne and the Predators in a 3-1 loss at Bridgestone Arena. It was Vancouver's first regulation loss since Jan. 15.
"I think anytime you lose it's frustrating, and when you play so well like that it's a little more frustrating," said Dale Weise
, who had the Canucks' lone goal Tuesday. "(We're) back at it Thursday and tomorrow's another day and we'll get right back to work.
"I thought we played well. We had enough chances to win. Their goalie stood on his head and when we win so many games in a row like we did, we're bound to run into a game where you're not going to get the bounces and not going to score. Full credit to their team."
: Detroit has been phenomenal at home, but it has been plagued by inconsistency on the road. Such was the case again Tuesday night, when the Red Wings suffered a 2-1 loss at Chicago. Jimmy Hayes scored the tying goal in the second period and set up Marcus Kruger's winning score in the third for the Blackhawks, who dropped Detroit's road record to 15-16-1.
"I thought we played about 10 good minutes to start the game and then I thought we were careless with the puck and made poor mental decisions," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I didn't think we gave ourself much of chance."
: The line of Daniel Sedin
, Henrik Sedin
and Alexandre Burrows
came up empty Tuesday night, but it combined for 16 points last weekend in victories against Edmonton and Toronto. … Valtteri Filppula
scored Detroit's lone goal Tuesday night. He has points in four of his last five games.
: Canucks winger Byron Bitz
has missed back-to-back games due to a sore hip, while defenseman Keith Ballard
is out with a neck injury. … Pavel Datsyuk
is expected to miss a month after undergoing knee surgery, while Patrick Eaves
is out due to post-concussion syndrome.
: Burrows appeared in his 500th NHL game Tuesday night. The 30-year-old was never drafted and spent his first two professional seasons in the ECHL. Since joining the Canucks, he has 133 goals and 125 assists.
: "Pav's been out before and he's a huge part of our team but we're going to need guys to step up. This is an opportunity for other guys now to play in a role maybe they're not used to playing in, maybe getting some more ice time, and they're going to find a way to get it done for us." -- Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard on Pavel Datsyuk's injury