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Canucks call on Schneider to start against Blues

by Kevin Woodley

VANCOUVER -- Cory Schneider will be back in the Vancouver Canucks' goal against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET, TSN) for the first time since March 10, and he's hoping to find an early rhythm after watching Roberto Luongo play the past four games, including a 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Monday.

"You always want to see shots early but it's a double-edged sword," Schneider said. "You don't want to see breakaways right away. You want to get in a rhythm and get busy and get your feet wet because it's been eight days."

The Canucks and Blues each will welcome back an important forward when they meet at Rogers Arena.

St. Louis gets the bigger boost overall, with Andy McDonald back after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury that occurred during a practice drill Feb. 26. McDonald has three goals and 11 points in 18 games this season, and is expected to start on a line with Patrik Berglund and David Perron, as well as see time on the power play. But coach Ken Hitchcock warned the new look wouldn't last long if the tight defensive structure that has led to five wins in the past six games isn't maintained.

"The players will be given an opportunity to make this work, but if not we'll go back to how it was before and we'll go back right away," Hitchcock said.

Vancouver gets the bigger body back, with 6-foot-3 forward Zack Kassian returning after missing two games with a back problem. Kassian scored all five of his goals in the first seven games of the season but has none in the past 19. However, he will be a welcome addition to a team that lost forward David Booth to an ankle injury Saturday.

Struggling to score, the Canucks may need their goalie to steal a win after he shakes off the cobwebs.

"Every game I play I want to be the difference-maker, the guy who helps my team win, as opposed to isn't as good as the other guy or is the reason my team loses," Schneider said. "We've taken a lot of pride in the past few years and accepted that role of stealing a game every now and then. Every game I feel that way."

Here's how the rest of the lineups should look at Rogers Arena on Tuesday:


Alexander Steen - David Backes - Chris Stewart

Andy McDonald - Patrik Berglund - David Perron

Jaden Schwartz - Vladimir Sobotka - Vladimir Tarasenko

Chris Porter - Scott Nichol - Ryan Reaves

Barret Jackman - Alex Pietrangelo

Wade Redden - Kevin Shattenkirk

Kris Russell - Roman Polak

Jake Allen

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Brian Elliott, Ian Cole, Matt D'Agostini

Injured: T.J. Oshie (rib), Jamie Langenbrunner (hip surgery)

Notes: Allen, who is 8-1-0 with a .920 save percentage, earned the start with a 2-1 overtime win against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, but Jaroslav Halak is expected to start the next game of a three-game road trip, against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. … Oshie skated hard and looked good Tuesday morning, but isn't eligible to come off injured reserve until Saturday.


Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Alexandre Burrows

Mason Raymond - Andrew Ebbett - Jannik Hansen

Chris Higgins - Jordan Schroeder - Zack Kassian

Dale Weise - Maxim Lapierre - Steven Pinizzotto

Dan Hamhuis - Jason Garrison

Alexander Edler - Kevin Bieksa

Keith Ballard - Christopher Tanev

Cory Schneider

Roberto Luongo

Scratched: Andrew Alberts, Cam Barker, Tom Sestito

Injured: David Booth (left foot/ankle), Ryan Kesler (fractured foot), Manny Malhotra (eye)

Notes: Despite coach Alain Vigneault saying he didn't plan on making changes on defense, Ballard could come back out in favor of Alberts against the big-bodied Blues. Ballard has been a healthy scratch five of the previous nine games, and a mistake by Ballard led to a breakaway and a 3-1 lead for the Minnesota Wild on Monday.

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