Defenceman Ossi Vaananen makes his highly anticipated debut for the Canucks (38-24-9) tonight when the team takes on the Stars (33-31-8) in Dallas.
Vaananen, described as a stay-at-home defenceman, was picked up off waivers on February 27th. The 28 year old, slots into the lineup for Shane O’Brien who will be a healthy scratch.
The Vantaa, Finland native played 46 games this season with the Philadelphia Flyers recording 10 points (1-9-10) and 22 penalty minutes. Drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes 43rd overall, Vaananen has played 476 games and recorded 67 points (13-54-67) with 482 penalty minutes over his seven-season NHL career.
Vaananen, who has been a healthy scratch for 11 games since being acquired by Vancouver, will partner with Kevin Bieksa
for tonight's match up.
Head coach Alain Vigneault is not expected to make any further changes to the Canucks lineup that has accumulated a 16-4-1 record since the beginning of February. D-man Rob Davison and forward Jannik Hansen
are the other healthy scratches.
The two teams last faced off a week ago at GM Place when the Canucks defeated the Stars 4-2. The Vancouver squad hopes to bounce back from Saturday's disappointing 5-1 loss to the Coyotes with a solid effort against the desperate, skilled Dallas team.
The Stars coming off a 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks are fighting to break into the playoff pack. Dallas sits in 12th spot in the tight Western Conference, despite being only three points behind the Nashville Predators in eighth place.
The Canucks are still holding strong in fifth position, two points behind Chicago and five behind Calgary. The team looks to strengthen their location in the standings and gain momentum down the stretch drive. The match up against Dallas tonight is the second of their six-game road trip.
Tonight’s game faces off at 5:30pm PST and can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific.FANTASY HOCKEY:
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