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|Pre-season Record: 0-3-0
Last Game: 2-5 L at Edmonton (SEP.21.13)
2013 Season Series: 2-1-0
Last Meeting: 2-0 W (APR.08.13)
|Pre-season Record: 2-1-1 |
Last Game: 2-3 OT/L at San Jose (SEP.21.13)
2013 Season Series: 1-2-0
Last Meeting: 0-2 L (APR.08.13)
The Vancouver Canucks (0-3-0) will try to bump their pre-season slump tonight when they host the Phoenix Coyotes (2-1-1) at Rogers Arena.What You Need to Know
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- Tonight marks the fourth of six pre-season games the Canucks will play this year. For Phoenix, it will be their fifth of seven pre-season contests.
- The Canucks dropped their third straight game to begin the pre-season on Saturday night falling 5-2 to the Oilers. F Mike Santorelli and F Jannik Hansen scored in a losing effort.
- The Coyotes suffered their second straight pre-season loss on Saturday night dropping a 3-2 decision in overtime to the Sharks. D Oliver Ekman-Larsson and F Andy Miele scored in the losing effort.
- Judging by yesterday's practice, the Canucks appear they will go with a more experienced lineup tonight with the likes of the Sedin twins, F Alex Burrows and F Ryan Kesler all expected to play. One interesting name that appears likely to dress alongside the veterans tonight is 18-year-old F Hunter Shinkaruk.
- The Canucks may be without the services of both F Zack Kassian and F Dale Weise tonight and possibly for the foreseeable future. Both are facing disciplinary hearings for separate incidents that occurred in Saturday's loss to the Oilers.
- Coyotes F Gilbert Brule, former star with the Vancouver Giants, is attending Coyotes camp on a tryout basis. He has one goal in two games played so far but also carries a less-than-impressive minus-four rating. Brule played one season for Phoenix in 2011.12 but did not play in the NHL last season.
- Coyotes' first round pick C Max Domi (12th overall) from this past summer's draft also remains in the hunt for a roster spot. The son of former NHL tough guy Tie Domi has one assist in two games played so far.
- Despite having two goals and four points in two pre-season games, Guillaume Latendresse was released from his professional tryout by the Coyotes on Saturday.
- G Roberto Luongo would be a good bet to be the starter tonight. He did not dress for Saturday's game in Edmonton and will be looking to bounce back after a tough pre-season opener that saw him surrender four goals over two periods of play last Wednesday.
- F Kellan Lain, who suited up in two pre-season games for the Canucks registering zero points and a minus-two rating, was assigned to the AHL's Utica Comets on Sunday.
Tonight's game faces off at 7 pm PT and can be seen on Sportsnet Pacific. Listen live on The TEAM 1040 Sports Radio or online at teamradio.ca.
Those away from a TV or radio can follow @CanucksGame on Twitter for live in-game play-by-play.
Keys to the Game
The Canucks Win If...
- They stay out of the box. Vancouver's penalty kill has been a bright spot so far in pre-season but, that being said, they can't expect to win if they're constantly playing a man short. They were short-handed eight times in Saturday's loss to Edmonton albeit they managed to hold the Oilers to just one power play goal.
- The vets step up. After icing mostly inexperienced lineups for the first three pre-season games, the Canucks should have a much greater veteran presence tonight and with their roster a much better representation of what the opening night lineup might look like, they'll want to prove that they are a much tougher team than what their first three games would suggest.
- Luongo bounces back. Assuming Vancouver's undisputed number one netminder gets the start tonight, he'll need to come out with much better effort than his first pre-season appearance that saw him surrender four goals - including several of the not-so-pretty variety - on just 14 shots last Wednesday against Edmonton.
The Coyotes Win If...
- They keep taking advantage of the man-advantage. Phoenix's power play has been red hot to open the pre-season scoring six times on 19 opportunities over their first four outings (31.6 percent). They'll be licking their chops against a Vancouver team that can't seem to stay out of the box.
- The bubble players make use of their opportunity. There are probably more than a handful of Coyotes forwards who were pleased to see Guillaume Latendresse released from his professional tryout with the club knowing that takes away one competitor for a roster spot. The fight's not quite over yet for the remaining Coyotes forwards, however, so they'll want to continue pushing tonight.
- They get some early momentum. The Canucks, even though they have yet to ice a veteran-laden lineup, aren't exactly beaming with confidence having dropped all three of their pre-season games to date and a big reason for that is they're constantly playing catch up. If the Coyotes can get up a goal or two early, they could make it another long night for the Canucks.
Ones to Watch
|HUNTER SHINKARUK |
Hunter Shinkaruk might not have been strong candidate to crack the Canucks' roster at the outset of the pre-season but it seems the odds of him landing a spot on the opening night roster are getting better each day.
With the Canucks suddenly facing injuries in their forward ranks to the likes of Booth, Jensen and Schroeder - as well as having Weise and Kassian face potential suspensions - it appears they might have little choice other than to have the 18-year-old make his NHL debut in just over a week's time.
Shinkaruk has had plenty of opportunities to prove his abilities so far in pre-season suiting up in all three games the Canucks have played and it looks like he'll have a chance to make it four-for-four tonight. He has one goal and four shots in three pre-season outings so far.
|CHRIS BROWN |
After getting a quick cup of coffee at the NHL level last season, Chris Brown is hoping to stick around for a full meal this time around.
The 22-year-old native of Flower Mound, Texas, who was a second round pick of the Coyotes back in 2009 out of the University of Michigan, has had had a strong pre-season to date appearing in three games while netting a team-high five points (1-4-5). His solid numbers should give him a leg up on some of his competitors, namely the likes of fellow forwards Gilbert Brule and Max Domi who are also battling tooth and nail for a spot on the opening night lineup.
Brown's brief NHL cameo last season saw him suit up in five games while failing to register a point. With the AHL's Portland Pirates last season – his first year playing professional hockey – he recorded 29 goals and 47 points in 68 games played.
Game Notes on Canucks.com are written by Daniel Fung. Follow him on Twitter @daniel_fung or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.