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Game 60: Canucks vs Senators (2.25.16)

by Daniel Fung / Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks look to build off Sunday's convincing home win over the Avs when they welcome the Ottawa Senators to Rogers Arena tonight on Canadian Armed Forces Night.

The Canucks may have been off game action for three straight days but it certainly has been an eventful few days away. The biggest news came on Monday - just a day after Vancouver's 5-1 win over Colorado - when they announced they traded prospect Hunter Shinkaruk to Calgary in exchange for 22-year-old centre Markus Granlund, who is expected to make his Canucks' debut tonight on a line with Linden Vey and Emerson Etem.

Vancouver's opponent tonight is a team that also recently had a facelift, bringing in former Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf just over two weeks ago. Despite the addition the Sens, like the Canucks, still find themselves outside the playoff picture and needing to get on a significant roll if they want to have a chance at qualifying for the post-season. The Sens have just 21 games remaining including tonight, while the Canucks have 23 games left to try and make a push.

Puck drop at 7 pm PT – Live on Sportsnet Pacific, TSN 1040, or online at tsn1040.ca.

Regular Season Record

23-24-12 29-26-6

2015.16 Season Series

0-1-0 1-0-0

All-Time Series

20-13-3 14-16-6

Last 10 games

3-6-1 6-4-0

Last 10 head-to-head

7-2-1 3-5-2
 

Keys to the Game

Keep it loose. Now that they don't have the long home losing streak to dwell on, the Canucks need to do their best to avoid worrying about the pressures that come with trying to get back into the playoff race. A non-Conference opponent is perfect to just go play and put on a good show.

Keeping throwing the body.If there was one thing that was especially apparent on Sunday, it was that the Canucks really wanted to engage in physical play and it showed as they finished the night out-hitting the Avs 23-10. The Sens are one of the most physical teams in the league so the Canucks will need to match their intensity tonight.

Keep winning the thirds. The Sens have been a team that has been guilty of allowing way too many third period goals this season (70) but on their current four-game win streak they've found a way to turn games around in their favour in third periods out-scoring their opponents by a combined 5-0.


Canucks Game Preview

By the Numbers

1st

Game involving the Canucks that Markus Granlund will appear in this season. He did not dress in 4 games for Calgary vs Vancouver.

1

Goal needed by Daniel Sedin to become the 60th player in NHL history to reach 350 career goals (will become 5th Swede to do so).

3

Game goal streak for Ottawa's Zack Smith entering play tonight.

5

Game point streak for Daniel Sedin (1-7-8) entering play tonight.

7

Straight games the Canucks have been out-shot (17-13-6 this season when being out-shot).

60

Jersey number that newest Canuck Markus Granlund will wear. He will be the first in franchise history to wear that number.


Scouting Report

  • The Sens served notice back on February 9 that they were serious about making a playoff run when they pulled off a true blockbuster with hated divisional rival, the Maple Leafs, acquiring Dion Phaneuf as part of a 9-player deal. The immediate aftermath was rough, though, as the Sens lost three in a row following the move but they've since won four in a row equaling their longest win streak of the season.
  • In Toronto, Phaneuf was starting to see his responsibilities get pulled back but he's been a prominently featured since arriving in Ottawa. His average time-on-ice has increased to 24:03 from 22:01 with the Leafs, he's on Ottawa's first-unit power play, but the most notable difference is his increased time on the penalty kill where he's averaging 2:29 in Ottawa after averaging just 1:36 in Toronto.
  • Speaking of the penalty kill, it has been a particularly rough area for the Sens all season long as they rank near the bottom of the league at just 74.7 percent. That said, it has stabilized a bit somewhat in recent outings killing off 10-of-11 over the last five outings.
  • While the PK has struggled as a whole, the Sens do have the ability to turn the tables on their opponents' power plays. They're tied with the Jets for the most shorthanded goals this season with 10, five of them coming off the stick of Jean-Gabriel Pageau. It's worth noting, though, that the Sens' last two shorties have been into an empty net and on a penalty shot, respectively. Their last "legitimate" shorthanded marker came way back on December 20.
  • Aside from stud blue-liner Erik Karlsson, the Sens don't necessarily have any standout offensive players (Karlsson is the only player in the top-30 of league scoring) but what they have is balance. They have eight players (seven forwards, one defenceman) in double-digit goal scoring and four players with 40-or-more points. Another team that can boast that? The league's top scoring team in the Washington Capitals. Vancouver, by comparison, has six players in double-digit goal scoring and just two players with 40-or-more points.
  • Without a doubt, though, the Sens are led in just about every facet by their captain, Erik Karlsson. The two-time Norris Trophy winner is well on his way to leading the Sens in points for the third straight season, leads the team in shots with 186 (among the league leaders for defencemen), and also leads the league in average ice-time at 29 minutes per game. He shares the season series lead with teammate Mike Hoffman with two points against the Canucks so far.
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