If there were any thoughts of the Canucks potentially falling victim to the dreaded trap game tonight against the Senators, those were all squashed last night. Following Thursday's impressive win in Pittsburgh and heading into a heavily-hyped match-up with the Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada yesterday, it might have been easy to overlook tonight's tilt against the slumping Sens. Vancouver, however, can't afford to do that even if they wanted to after dropping a 5-2 decision yesterday to Toronto and having their record on their current seven-game road swing drop to 3-2-0. As disappointing as yesterday's result was, the Canucks can't get too down on themselves considering a win tonight and they will guarantee that they do no worse than .500 on the trip and have an opportunity to finish with five wins out of seven when they wrap up the trip in Montreal on Tuesday. A loss, however, and they could very well see their trip, which began with such promise, end with a thud. vancouver could be without the services of forward Shawn Matthias, who left yesterday's contest after taking an elbow to the head from Stephane Robidas. If Matthias can't go, look for Nicklas Jensen to draw in.
The Sens come into tonight's game riding their longest winless streak of the season at five games which included falling 3-2 to the Penguins yesterday afternoon in Pittsburgh. One of the biggest reasons for their slump of late has been due to the fact they can't seem to find the back of the net as they've been held to two-or-fewer goals in six straight outings. Unless Senators coach Paul MacLean really wants to shake things up, expect to see Craig Anderson back between the pipes for Ottawa despite starting the last three in a row including yesterday's contest. Robin Lehner is out with injury and their current back-up is 26-year-old Andrew Hammond of White Rock, who has made just one NHL appearance in his career. The Canucks' original plan was likely to start Eddie Lack in this contest although that may change after Ryan Miller was yanked last night after allowing four goals on 14 shots. This is the second and final meeting between Vancouver and Ottawa this season. The Canucks knocked off the Sens 4-3 in overtime back on November 11 at Rogers Arena. Daniel Sedin had two points, including the overtime winner, that night.
Puck drop at 4 pm PT – Live on CITY, TSN 1040, or online at tsn1040.ca.
Regular Season Record
2014.15 Season Series
Keys to the Game
Show up to play. Motivation shouldn't be an issue tonight for the Canucks after their embarrassing showing yesterday against the Leafs but Vancouver has to also beware of a very desperate Ottawa team who will be equally, if not more, fired up to want to snap out of their recent funk. The Canucks can’t afford to sleepwalk in this game especially at the start.
Don't squander those power plays. As bad as the Canucks were last night in Toronto, they could have easily gotten themselves back in the game had they clicked on even one of their six man-advantage opportunities. Ottawa's PK has struggled lately giving up nine goals on 39 times shorthanded over their last 11 outings. Vancouver needs to take advantage.
Keep the pressure on. In four of their last five losses, the Sens have held a lead at some point in the game but never by more than a goal. If they find a way to get up in tonight's contest, they need to keep pushing for that next one instead of just trying to sit on a lead.
By the Numbers
Win percentage for the Canucks this season when playing on zero days rest (1-3-1).
Win percentage for the Senators this season when playing on zero days rest (1-3-0).
Win percentage for the Canucks in their last seven meetings against the Sens (7-1-0). (Loss: 2014 Heritage Classic)
Career start for Eddie Lack against the Sens. He allowed three goals on 27 shots faced in a 4-2 loss in the Heritage Classic.
Straight wins for the Canucks in our nation's capital dating back to November 11, 2010.
Home win for the Sens in their last five outings at the Canadian Tire Centre (1-3-1).