After a dreadful six-game home stand that saw them manage just a single victory, getting back on the road might just be the best thing for the struggling Canucks. On Saturday, for the fourth time in their last six outings, the Canucks squandered a third period in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Kings. The only good news for the Canucks heading into tonight's tilt is that they'll be facing a Senators squad that hasn't exactly been performing at the top of their game either.
The Sens have just two wins in their last five outings although they are coming off an impressive 6-4 win over Washington last night in a game that they had trailed 3-1. Unlike the Canucks whose problem is they can't seem to score, the Sens are having trouble keeping the puck out of their own net. They've allowed four-or-more goals in six of their last eight outings and much of the blame for that has landed on the shoulders of netminder Craig Anderson, who has struggled since returning from a head injury. Anderson started last night in Washington so he might be a spectator tonight in favour of Robin Lehner, who has won four of his last six starts. Roberto Luongo will likely be between the pipes for Vancouver.
Puck drop at 4:30 pm PT - Live on Sportsnet Vancouver Hockey, The TEAM 1040, or online at teamradio.ca.
Keys to the Game
Take advantage of a struggling defence. On paper the Sens should be a cure for what ails the Canucks' offence. Ottawa has allowed 30 goals over their last eight outings (an average of 3.75 per game). They have only won twice this season when allowing three-or-more goals.
Learn to finish properly. Late game collapses have become far too commonplace for the Canucks. If they manage to take a lead in this game, especially late in the outing, they need to find a way to close things out.
Stay out of the sin bin. The Sens can't seem to stay out of the penalty box lately and it's costing them. They've given up power play goals in six straight games and have killed just 16-of-26 (61.5 percent) during that stretch.
By the Numbers
Win percentage for the Sens this season against Western Conference teams (1-7-2).
Win percentage for the Canucks this season against Eastern Conference teams (8-3-2).
Years since the Sens last beat the Canucks at home (Feb. 4, 2010). Vancouver has since won 2 in a row.
GAA for Ottawa's Craig Anderson this season, well up from last year's 1.69.
Straight wins for the Canucks over the Senators in head-to-head meetings dating back to March 13, 2010.
Times this season the Canucks have failed to win a game in which they've held a third period lead at any time (10-1-4).