It’s the end of the line for the 2013-14 Vancouver Canucks (35-35-11) tonight when they play their season finale against the Calgary Flames (35-39-7) at Rogers Arena.
The Canucks are 4-0 against the Flames this season with a pair of regulation time wins, an overtime victory and they prevailed in a shootout as well. Three of the games have been one-goal games while the other was a 2-0 Vancouver victory with the Canucks scoring a late goal to extend their lead. Overall, the Canucks have won six straight against the Flames and eight of the past nine meetings.
The Canucks return to action after a 5-2 loss in Edmonton last night. Zack Kassian and Shawn Matthias each had a goal and an assist in the defeat. Kassian has 3+7 in his past 10 games and leads the Canucks in scoring with 4+8=12 in 21 games since the Olympic break. The Canucks are 8-11-2 since the Sochi shutdown. They have dropped three in a row and are 1-5-1 in their past seven.
It’s been a struggle for the Canucks to find offense all season and that’s been the case for a number of the team’s top players lately. Entering the final game of the year, Ryan Kesler has 1+0=1 in his past 7 games, Henrik Sedin has 1+1=2 in his past 5, Daniel Sedin has gone seven without a goal, Alex Burrows has 0+1=1 in his past 9 and Jannik Hansen has gone seven games without a point and has 0+1=1 in his past 10.
Mike Zalewski made his NHL debut last night playing 11:47 and registering 2 shots on goal. Ryan Stanton logged 17:56 last night, which is the most he’s played since February 6th in Montreal.
Jacob Markstrom made his second straight start last night allowing five goals on 22 Oiler shots. Daniel Sedin has 74 points in 74 career games against Calgary.
The Flames are here to finish their season following a 5-3 loss to Winnipeg on home ice on Friday night. That snapped a four game win streak. Calgary has won 10 of its past 16 games.
Hobey Baker winner Johnny Gaudreau and Boston College teammate Bill Arnold both signed their first NHL contracts on Friday and are expected to make their NHL debuts tonight on a line with Paul Byron.
Sean Monahan is fourth among NHL rookies with 22 goals. The 19-year-old – the sixth pick in last year’s draft -- has scored in back to back games. Matt Stajan has 4+6=10 in his past 8 games including 3+3=6 on a six-game point streak. Mike Cammalleri has 11 goals in his past 16 games and has the game-winning goal in six of the Flames past 10 victories.
Netminder Karri Ramo is 9-4 in his past 13 decisions. He gave up 4 goals on 26 shots against the Jets on Friday. Ramo has started 10 of the Flames last 11 games.
The Canucks and Flames have the same number of victories (35) and the same totals home (19) and away (16).