When the Canucks' schedule first came out, few would have expected an early November game against the Coyotes to be a marquee match-up. But given how well both teams have been playing of late, a case can certainly be made for this game being a must-see contest. The Canucks have won five of their last six games coming into this game, including shutting out the Leafs 4-0 on Saturday, while the Coyotes have won a season-high four games in a row and have been winners in six of their last seven outings.
The Coyotes, who knocked off the Sharks 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday, have been particularly dominant on home ice. They are 6-0-1 this season at the Jobing.com Arena with their lone blemish being a 4-3 overtime loss to Ottawa back on October 15. The Canucks won two of the three head-to-head meetings between the clubs last season. Roberto Luongo, who did not face the Coyotes at all last season, is expected to get the start for Vancouver while Mike Smith will likely go for Phoenix.
Puck drop at 6 pm PT - Live on Sportsnet Pacific, The TEAM 1040, or online at teamradio.ca.
Keys to the Game
Keep firing. Like the Leafs, the Coyotes are another team that gives up plenty of shots averaging 35.5 shots against per game. If the Canucks can find a way to get their shots through as they did against Toronto on Saturday, they are bound to be rewarded with a few goals.
Don't fall behind. Phoenix is a team that likes to take the lead and keep it all game long. They're a perfect 5-0-0 when leading after the first period and are 4-0-1 when they carry a lead into the third period so giving them any sort of advantage is clearly not a recipe for success.
3-D keeps producing. It has long been known the Coyotes have a pair of offensively-gifted blue-liners in Yandle and Ekman-Larsson but early this season Derek Morris has joined that mix as well contributing four goals and 10 points. The three defencemen have already combined for eight goals and 32 points this season.
By the Numbers
Points recorded by Coyotes forward Antoine Vermette in last year's season series, most among all players.
Straight games the Canucks have picked up points in against the Coyotes in Arizona (4-0-3).
Home games without a regulation loss to start the season for Phoenix, longest streak in franchise history.
Points for Coyotes D-man Derek Morris in 13 games played. He had just 11 points in 39 games last season.
Game point streak for Henrik Sedin coming into tonight's game (3-10-13), a personal career-high.
Career games played for Coyotes D-man Zbynek Michalek after he suits up tonight against the Canucks.