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Game 8: Canucks vs. Capitals (10.26.14)

by Daniel Fung / Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks begin a three-game home stand tonight when they host Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals at Rogers Arena on Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness night.

There is no better time or opportunity for the Canucks to try stringing together a few victories in a row than starting tonight when they finally get a chance to play a few consecutive games at Rogers Arena beginning with this visit from the Capitals. A win streak for the boys in blue would certainly be a nice change of pace as the Canucks come into tonight's game having lost three of their last four outings since beginning the season with three wins in a row. They were thumped 7-3 in their last outing on Friday by the Avalanche. The Canucks did not practice yesterday but, after being blown out in two of their last three games, may be considering giving their lineup a slightly different look. Both forward Tom Sestito and recently-recalled defenceman Frank Corrado have yet to suit up in an NHL game this season. The only certain lineup tweak the Canucks will make is to have Ryan Miller back between the pipes tonight after he got the night off on Friday.

The Caps are wrapping up a three-game Western Canada road swing tonight and will be looking to close it out on a two-game win streak after earning a 3-1 victory last night in Calgary. The trip started with a 3-2 loss in Edmonton on Wednesday. The Caps, who are led by former Predators head coach Barry Trotz, have had some trouble putting together consecutive victories– they've won back-to-back games just once – albeit they've earned at least one point in six of seven games played this season. The Caps have not won in Vancouver since February 14, 2001 but did split last year's two-game season series with the Canucks with each team winning in their respective home rink. Washington could potentially go with back-up netminder Justin Peters in tonight's tilt after regular starter Braden Holtby played last night against the Flames. Peters has made one start and one relief appearance so far this season.

Puck drop at 6:30 pm PT – Live on Sportsnet Vancouver Hockey, TSN 1040, or online at tsn1040.ca.

Regular Season Record

4-3-0 4-1-2

2014.15 Season Series

0-0-0 0-0-0

All-time Series

38-38-11 40-37-10
 

Keys to the Game

Regain that shoot first mentality. In their first five games of the season, the Canucks averaged 36.8 shots per game and out-shot their opponents in all of those outings. In their last two games, they've averaged just 26 shots per game while giving up an average of 40 per game. Out-shooting teams doesn't always mean you're the better, but it's probably an indication that you're controlling the game instead of letting the other team dictate the pace.

Miller time resumes. Avs netminder While most of the Canucks are looking to forget about Friday night's debacle, one player looking to pick up where he left off is Ryan Miller. Miller was stellar in his last start on Thursday in St. Louis and will need to be again tonight facing the high-powered offence of the Caps who are averaging 3.14 goals per game this season.

Ovie puts on a show. The Caps haven't had a whole lot of success in Vancouver – in fact, they haven't won here since Ovechkin broke into the league – but Ovie has quietly done his part putting up three goals and four points in four career games at Rogers Arena. The Caps' captain, however, comes into tonight's game point-less in three straight.


By the Numbers

.250

Canucks' win percentage without Ryan Stanton in the lineup (1-3-0).

2

BC boys on the Capitals roster: D Karl Alzner (Burnaby) and F Troy Brouwer (Vancouver).

4

Rookies on the Caps' roster: Andre Burakovsky, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Liam O'Brien and Michael Latta.

5

Straight wins at Rogers Arena for the Canucks against the Capitals dating back to March 23, 2003.

5

Points needed by Alex Ovechkin to tie Peter Bondra (825) for most all-time in Capitals history.

800

Career games for Capitals forward Jason Chimera after he suits up tonight.

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