GLASS BACK IN
Canuck forward Tanner Glass will dress tonight after being a healthy scratch on Sunday against the Calgary Flames.
He will play on the fourth line with Ryan Johnson and Rick Rypien, leaving Darcy Hordichuk out for tonight's game against the New York Islanders.
All other lines from last game are intact.
GAME DAY NOTES
Tonight the Canucks will face the New York Islanders for the only time in the regular season. The teams’ met in the first pre-season game of the year when the Canucks hosted Kraft’s Hockeyville 2009 in Terrace. After winning their last two games since returning home, the Canucks hope to continue their home ice success and earn another two points.
The last two games between the Canucks and Islanders both ended in shootouts. The Canucks won 3-2 over the Islanders two seasons ago but suffered a 2-1 loss last season when Islander forward Frans Nielsen got one past Roberto Luongo in shootout.
The Islanders currently sit 13th in the East and last in the Atlantic division with 65 points (28-32-9) but have stepped up of late, winning in their last two outings against the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New Jersey Devils. Before that, they had lost four consecutive games.
“I watched their last two games against New Jersey and Toronto,” said Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault. “They played extremely well and extremely hard. They’re a hard forechecking team that has their [defence] involved in everything whether it be on the forecheck or the attack. I was really impressed on how hard they played and we’re going to have to do really well tonight.”
One of the most productive players for the Islanders is forward Blake Comeau, who has scored six goals and five assists in eight games since the Olympic break, including a hat trick on March 2 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
“They’ve got some skilled players, but we know if we implement our game and come with the hard work and the smart work that we’ve done in the last two games at home we have a good chance to win the hockey game,” said Ryan Johnson.
The Islanders are only 9-20-7 on the road, last in the league. The Canucks are 8-0 at home against Eastern teams this season, scoring 35 goals and letting in only 12. They are 25-7-1 at home overall, second best in the League.
“We try to play a simple game, and the crowd is behind us, and it actually helps,” said Mikael Samuelsson. “I think everybody feels that it is a good atmosphere here.”
Ryan Kesler is currently on a 13 game point streak with six goals and nine assists. Daniel Sedin has recorded assists in 10 consecutive games and is tied with Anaheim Duck forwards Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf for the longest assist streak this season.
BIEKSA GLAD TO BE BACK
After missing 27 games with a lacerated ankle tendon, Canuck defenceman Kevin Bieksa’s first game back happened to be the first of back-to-back games, but the 28 year old Ontario native didn’t mind jumping right back in.
“I think when you come back, you know I’m healthy now physically, so it’s a matter of throwing me in there and letting me find my game,” said Bieksa. “I think easing somebody back in just makes the process a lot longer. I like the way I’ve played in most situations so far and that helps me regain my focus.”
Though he did not register any points in his first two games back, he averaged 18:52 TOI. He played 19:58 last game against the Calgary Flames.
Bieksa has recorded 16 points this season (1-15-16) in 42 games and will continue to be paired with defenceman Aaron Rome.