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Canucks seeking offensive spark against Coyotes

by Kevin Woodley

VANCOUVER -- Struggling to score and missing captain and leading scorer Henrik Sedin, the Vancouver Canucks appear set to shake up their lines against the Phoenix Coyotes on Sunday, including dressing a seventh defenseman as a power-play specialist.

Though there were no morning skates Sunday for either team ahead of a 5 p.m. local start time, the indications from practice Saturday were that forward David Booth will be a healthy scratch so defenseman Yannick Weber can play on the fourth line and man the point on a new-look power play that has been anything but powerful this season.

Vancouver is 28th in the NHL with the man-advantage at 14.3 percent and has converted two of 30 chances in its past eight games. Zack Kassian scored one of those goals during a 9-1 loss against the Anaheim Ducks and Weber had the other in a 3-2 shootout win against the Calgary Flames. But Weber, the Canucks' only dangerous right-hand shot from the point, was scratched for the return of defenseman Ryan Stanton against the Nashville Predators on Friday, and the power play went 0-for-5 in a 2-1 loss.

It appears Weber will be back and on the top power-play unit against the Coyotes, who beat the Canucks 1-0 the last time the teams played one another 10 days ago by killing off all seven power plays.

"We have the players to be successful," said Daniel Sedin, who hasn't scored in 11 games and has four power-play goals. "It's tough to pinpoint. We're trying to get shots from up top and get to those rebounds but it hasn't been there this year. We have to find a way to have more guys in front and get to those rebounds."

All four of the Canucks' forward lines likely will be changed, including dropping Daniel Sedin, who is tied with twin brother Henrik for the team lead with 40 points, to the second line. Phoenix isn't expected to change its lines from a 4-3 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday that pulled them within four points of Vancouver for the final Western Conference playoff spot.

Here is how the lines for the Coyotes and Canucks are expected to look Sunday:


Lauri Korpikoski - Antoine Vermette - Mikkel Boedker

Tim Kennedy - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata

Shane Doan - Mike Ribeiro - David Moss

Rob Klinkhammer - Kyle Chipchura - Jeff Halpern

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Zbynek Michalek

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris

David Schlemko - Michael Stone

Mike Smith

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Paul Bissonnette, David Rundblad, Jordan Szwarz


Chris Higgins - Ryan Kesler - Alexandre Burrows

Daniel Sedin - Zac Dalpe - Zack Kassian

Jannik Hansen - Brad Richardson - Dale Weise

Tom Sestito - Kellan Lain - Yannick Weber

Alexander Edler - Jason Garrison

Dan Hamhuis - Christopher Tanev

Ryan Stanton - Kevin Bieksa

Roberto Luongo

Eddie Lack

Scratched: David Booth

Injured: Henrik Sedin (ribs), Mike Santorelli (shoulder), Andrew Alberts (upper body)

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