Sometimes a single game can make all the difference in perception. Heading into Thursday's game in Philadelphia, the Canucks were a dejected group and were seemingly spiraling out of control after suffering three straight losses. Twenty-four hours and a 4-0 win later, the Canucks now have a real opportunity to pick up some steam if they earn a similar result against the Hurricanes tonight.
Vancouver, which climbed into sole possession of third place in the Pacific Division with last night's win, will make at least one lineup change tonight with Dan Hamhuis expected to return after missing the last 22 games with a groin injury. Given last night's strong performance, it seems unlikely any changes will be coming up front meaning Zack Kassian may find himself parked in the press box for a second straight night. Despite the back-to-back scenario, Ryan Miller could see action again tonight given his relatively light workload this week.
Puck drop at 4 pm PT – Live on Sportsnet, TSN 1040, or online at tsn1040.ca.
Regular Season Record
2014.15 Season Series
Last 10 games
Last 10 head-to-head
The Hurricanes close out a short two-game home stand tonight and are looking to remain perfect on home ice in 2015 having won their last four in a row at the PNC Arena. They were 3-2 winners in a shootout against the Avalanche on Tuesday in a game that saw them post a season-high 46 shots. After a tough start to their season, the Canes have turned things around to a degree lately. They come into tonight's game having won four of their last six games (4-1-1).
Unlike back on October 28 in the Canucks' 4-1 win over the Hurricanes at Rogers Arena, Carolina will have Jordan Staal at their disposal. Staal has four points in seven games since returning to the lineup from a broken leg and scored his first goal of the season in his last outing against the Avs. Cam Ward figures to get the call in net for the Canes unless the head coach Bill Peters chooses to stick with the hot hand and give Anton Khudobin back-to-back starts. Khudobin has won his last three in a row and has allowed only five goals over his last four outings.
Keys to the Game
Ride the momentum. It's been a while the Canucks have been able to ride the wave from a positive previous outing. Their confidence should be pretty high after last night's impressive win so they'll want to pick up where they left off and carry the play early on and hopefully enjoy some early offensive success as they did against the Flyers.
Hammer time. What better boost can you get than with the return of arguably your best defenceman? Dan Hamhuis may be a bit rusty after being out of the lineup since late November but he'll definitely give the Canucks' team psyche a lift.
Follow Eric's lead. It's no secret the Canes turn to Eric Staal when it comes to their offence. Lately, the captain has had the Midas touch scoring six goals in his last eight outings. Staal has been pretty productive in his career versus Vancouver netting eight points (2-6-8) in 10 career games.
By the Numbers
Win percentage for the Canucks this season when playing on zero days rest (1-4-1).
Win percentage for the Canucks in their last four visits to Carolina (1-3-0). The lone win came last season.
Win percentage for the Canucks in the 22 games during Dan Hamhuis' absence (11-9-2).
Straight wins for the Canucks against the Hurricanes dating back to December 1, 2013.
Straight games without a power play goal allowed by the Hurricanes, a new franchise record (Prev. record was 9 games set during 1983.84 season).
Career games for Canucks D Yannick Weber. Tonight will be his 200th career game if he dresses.