On a home stand that has already been filled with milestone moments and emotionally-charged returns, tonight's game will feature yet another noteworthy occasion with Schneider, the one-time heir apparent to the Canucks crease, playing his second game at Rogers Arena after being dealt way at the 2013 NHL Draft. While this game isn't Cory's first against his old team – he met and lost twice against Vancouver last season including once at Rogers Arena – this will be the first time that fans will get to see their former netminder go up against the player he was traded for in Bo Horvat, the ninth overall pick from the aforementioned 2013 draft class. Horvat has had a memorable home stand as well scoring his first career NHL goal on Thursday against the Ducks before following that up with a three assist performance on Sunday in the Canucks' 4-1 win over the Blackhawks. Horvat, incidentally, became the first teenager to post three points in a game for the Canucks since Trevor Linden on February 28, 1990 against Philadelphia.
It would be a stretch to say that Schneider is well-rested but he is coming off his first break of the season after back-up Scott Clemmensen started and lost in Calgary on Saturday. The defeat was a tough pill to swallow for the Devils as they held a 4-2 lead with less than three minutes left in regulation before having to eventually settle for a 5-4 shootout loss. This is the first of two meetings between the Canucks and Devils this season. The Canucks visit New Jersey on February 20 to conclude the season series. Miller is expected to get the start in net for the Canucks. Alex Burrows joined the team for practice yesterday and will be a game-time decision tonight. As has been the case for the past several years whenever Jaromir Jagr comes to town, one has to wonder if tonight will be the final visit to Vancouver for the 42-year-old aging superstar who is slated to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Puck drop at 7 pm PT – Live on Sportsnet Pacific, TSN 1040, or online at tsn1040.ca.
Regular Season Record
2014.15 Season Series
Keys to the Game
Think offence first. This season the Canucks are averaging 3.00 goals per game. Their opponent tonight? More than half-a-goal less at 2.48. Seeing as how the Devils are just 1-7-2 this season when allowing three-or-more goals, the Canucks might want to turn it up a notch and really try to force the Devils to fight fire with fire on offence.
Hansen stays hot. If Jannik Hansen is having an identity crisis these days and thinks he's Daniel Sedin or Radim Vrbata, then just leave him be. The NHL's reigning First Star of the Week has tied a career-high with goals in three straight games and has five tallies over those outings. Tonight would fine time for him to establish a new career-high goal streak. His first-career hat trick on Sunday was his first multi-goal game in nearly three years (Dec. 6, 2011).
It's the Schneider show. While it's pretty obvious Cory Schneider would love nothing more than to steal a win against his former team, the truth is that the Devils rarely win if their number one netminder doesn't stand on his head most nights. If Cory plays well, New Jersey has a shot. If he doesn't, the Devils likely lose.
By the Numbers
Straight wins for the Canucks head-to-head against the Devils dating back to December 2, 2009.
Years since the Devils' last win in Vancouver (5-3 on January 13, 2009 – 2 straight losses since).
Game tonight for Bo Horvat, the maximum he can play before his entry-level contract kicks in.
Consecutive starts for Cory Schneider to start this season, setting a new Devils franchise record (the streak ended on Saturday).
Games played by Jaromir Jagr in his career against the Canucks. He has 13 goals and 35 points all-time vs. VAN.
Faceoff win percentage this season for Bo Horvat, best among all Canucks centres.