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Canucks not letting past playoff failures alter mindset

by Kevin Woodley /

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks are focused on their habit of bouncing back quickly this season, not a longer history of failure on home ice during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Canucks' 2-1 loss against the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round on Wednesday was their seventh straight at Rogers Arena, dating to Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. But heading into Game 2 of this best-of-7 series Friday (10 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports), Vancouver players insisted they had put that behind them.

"It's a different feeling," Daniel Sedin said Friday. "Everything is new; new management, new coach, new players. So we don't look at the last few playoffs, we look at this year. We lost the first game and we are going to come back and have a good one tonight."

The Canucks have lost consecutive games in regulation once since late January and can't afford to do it again now. Not only would Vancouver face a 2-0 deficit going into Game 3 in Calgary, where the fans are eager for their first playoff game since 2009, but questions about the Canucks' recent playoff failures will get louder.

Vancouver has lost 11 of its past 12 playoff games, including the last two of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, a five-game loss to the Los Angeles Kings in 2012, and a four-game sweep against the San Jose Sharks in 2013. They missed the postseason last season, prompting changes in management and a new coach in Willie Desjardins, but there are nine players left from the 2011 Cup Final.

"That's not something we're looking at right now," said forward Jannik Hansen, who has been with the Canucks since 2006-07. "We're down 1-0 and that's it. What's happened in the past is in the past. We've been preaching that the entire season and we have come away from some bad losses and turned it around and we're going to look at this no different than that."

A lot of the focus has been on the Flames' ability to come back in third periods this season after they scored twice to erase a 1-0 deficit in Game 1. It was the 11th time Calgary had won when trailing after two periods, but the Canucks, who were 30-1-3 in the regular season with a lead after 40 minutes, were more focused on building a bigger lead rather than giving one up.

"You are not going to win many games scoring once," Hansen said.

The Canucks felt they created enough chances, but Flames goalie Jonas Hiller kept it 1-0 with a handful of great saves early in the third period.

"He's going to stop what he sees and there's no secret to that," Daniel Sedin said. "We created enough chances to score more than one last game. But we'll get back at it tonight and see if we can do more damage on the rebounds than just getting to them."

Here are the projected lineups:


Johnny GaudreauSean MonahanJiri Hudler

Sam BennettMikael BacklundJoe Colborne

Brandon BolligMarkus GranlundJosh Jooris

Michael FerlandMatt StajanDavid Jones

Kris RussellDennis Wideman

TJ BrodieDeryk Engelland

David SchlemkoCorey Potter

Jonas Hiller

Karri Ramo

Scratched: Mason Raymond, Tyler Wotherspoon, Drew Shore

Injured: Ladislav Smid (upper body), Paul Byron (lower body), Mark Giordano (torn biceps tendon), Raphael Diaz (lower body), (lower body), Lance Bouma (undisclosed)


Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Alexandre Burrows

Chris Higgins - Nick Bonino - Radim Vrbata

Ronalds Kenins - Bo Horvat - Jannik Hansen

Shawn Matthias - Brad Richardson - Derek Dorsett

Alexander Edler - Christopher Tanev

Dan Hamhuis - Yannick Weber

Luca Sbisa - Kevin Bieksa

Eddie Lack

Ryan Miller

Scratched: Linden Vey, Brandon McMillan, Ryan Stanton

Injured: Zack Kassian (back)

Status report: Bieksa, who missed a shift on the Flames' tying goal in Game 1, did not practice Thursday and did not take part in a sparsely attended optional skate Friday morning. Desjardins said Bieksa is a game-time decision but expected to play. ... If Bieksa can't play expect Stanton to go on the third pairing with Sbisa.

Who's hot: Horvat, 20, finished the regular season with an assist in his last two games and then scored in his first playoff game Wednesday.

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