Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault wants to get backup goaltender Curtis Sanford a start sometime this week. Thursday night's matchup with the Nashville Predators may not be the best time.
The Canucks, in the midst of their best stretch of the season, look to avoid another loss to the Predators when the teams continue their season series.
Vigneault hopes to start Sanford for the fourth time this season in one of Vancouver's next two games, but the career backup has allowed a total of nine goals in his last two starts against Nashville (13-10-2), both of which occurred while he was with the St. Louis Blues.
The Canucks (15-10-2) are 2-5-1 in their last eight games against the Predators. Top Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo has started four of those contests, including a 3-0 loss on Nov. 1, when he made only 12 saves.
The eight-year veteran has been solid in net for most of the season, though, compiling a 2.18 goals-against average.
He made 25 saves Wednesday night against Chicago, as Brendan Morrison scored early in the third period to break a tie in Vancouver's 3-2 victory. The Canucks have won 10 of their last 14 games to move into a tie with Minnesota atop the Northwest Division.
Morrison had scored just one goal in his previous 11 games, but may have benefited Wednesday from being switched to a line with Taylor Pyatt and Byron Ritchie.
"We need to find a way for Brendan to give us more offense," Vigneault said. "He seemed excited about playing with Pyatt and Ritchie and it worked out well for us tonight."
Mattias Ohlund and Ritchie also scored for Vancouver on Wednesday, and Pyatt had two assists.
With an assist on Ohlund's goal, Markus Naslund recorded his 725th point with Vancouver to pass Trevor Linden as the Canucks' career scoring leader. Naslund has 332 goals and 393 assists in 829 games with the Canucks, while Linden has 312 goals and 412 assists in 1,020 games.
Linden, who has been a healthy scratch eight times this season, played Wednesday for the first time in three games.
Nashville has been able to turn its season around after a 2-6-0 start, but it remains in last place in the Central Division. The Predators won the first two games of a road trip before concluding it with a 3-1 loss to Toronto on Tuesday night.
Now, Nashville is beginning a four-game stretch at home - where it is 7-3-1 - and will be playing its next 25 games against Western Conference opponents.
The Predators will try to bounce back after being held under three goals for the first time in five games. Nashville did, however, outshoot the Maple Leafs 35-15, marking the eighth time in nine games it has held an edge in that category.
Jason Arnott set a Predators record for shots on goal in a single game with 12 on Tuesday. He had a goal and an assist in Nashville's first meeting with Vancouver this season.