Andrew Alberts will slot back in tonight for game five against the Kings as the series shifts to Vancouver. Nolan Baumgartner, who played in his first playoff game since 2003 on Wednesday, is out with an undisclosed injury.
Alberts is second in penalty minutes in the post-season behind Jarrko Ruutu, who has 32 PIMs in five games, while Alberts has 23 in just two games played. Alberts has missed the last two contests and faced plenty of media scrutiny for his penalties especially in light of the penalty killing struggles of the team, but he isn't going to compromise his style of play.
"You can't play tentative and you can't play scared out there - you just have to play your game," said Alberts. "At the same time, I have to be a little bit more cautious mentally about what's going on and don't try to be as chippy."
Tanner Glass will sit as Rick Rypien returns to the lineup. Rypien will centre a line with Michael Grabner and Jannik Hansen.
Mikael Samuelsson is expected to start the game where he finished last game skating on a line with the Sedins. The trio registered six points in the third period and Coach Alain Vigneault will keep the line together in hopes of maintaining that momentum.
Alex Burrows, who played with the twins for the majority of the season, will be reunited with Ryan Kesler - the duo made for a solid checking line last season - joined by Mason Raymond on the other wing.
Pavol Demitra, Kyle Wellwood, and Steve Bernier rounds out the forward lines for the Canucks.
What does game five mean?
Well, it means whoever wins take the series lead and Vancouver would welcome leading in the best-of-seven again.
Here are some key stats about game five to keep in mind:
- The Canucks haven't won a game five since the 2003 Western Conference Quarterfinals against the St. Louis Blues. They went on the win that series but were ousted by the Flames in seven in the second round. Calgary won game five of that series.
- In the most recent playoff appearances, the Canucks have played game five at home twice and on the road once with all resulting in losses. The Canucks have home ice again but it seems that doesn't make a difference.
- In those same three playoff series that have gone to five games since the lockout, two of the three needed overtime and Vancouver scored two goals or less in each.
In regards to NHL game fives...
- In the past four seasons, only one of the Stanley Cup winners who have won all game fives during the playoffs has won the Cup. The Anaheim Ducks won all their game fives in three of the four rounds and played all of their game fives on home ice.
- Detroit (2008 Stanley Cup champions) and Carolina (2006 Stanley Cup champions) both had home ice advantage throughout their run to the Cup. The Red Wings won just one of their three game five outings, winning all those series in six and swept in round two. The Canes won all but one game five - they lost game five to the Oilers in the finals but eventually won the series in seven.
- The most recent Cup champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins, lost in game five in round one at home but took the series in six. They won game five on the road in the second round, which needed seven games. They swept the third round. Finally, they lost the fifth game on the road in the finals, which also called for a seven-game decision and we all know how that ended.
So what does game five mean? You decide. These are just stats.