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Schneider starts Game 3 for Vancouver

by Eric Gilmore

SAN JOSE -- Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider will start Sunday night against the San Jose Sharks in Game 3 of their Western Conference Quarterfinals series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Schneider missed the first two game with a mysterious "body" injury, but he declared himself "100 percent" healthy after taking part in the Canucks' morning skate at HP Pavilion.

"I'm playing so I'm 100 percent," Schneider said. "When you play, you're good."

Before Game 1, Schneider said he was healthy enough to play, but Roberto Luongo started the first two games at Vancouver. Luongo allowed only three goals in each game, but the Sharks won both times, 3-1 in Game 1 and 3-2 in overtime in Game 2.

"I felt like I could play, but I took a little bit of time off and that seemed to help," Schneider said. "Fortunately we had the luxury of a guy like Roberto here, so I wasn't pressed into action. That's not something that every team has. Louie's probably been our best player the first two games."

During the regular season, Schneider went 17-9-4 with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage with five shutouts. In his final 15 games, he allowed one or fewer goals eight times with four shutouts.

"His play was real good," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "So we were going to start with him in the playoffs, and he's good to go, so he's going to play."

Center Henrik Sedin said that Luongo has "been great for us," but he hopes that a change might give the Canucks a boost after two tough losses.

"In the playoffs, it doesn't matter what kind of changes you make, but if you make changes they might start thinking a little bit about the different matchups or a different goalie coming in or whatever," he said. "So, that's part of the playoffs. You see it every year where teams make adjustments. They switch lines or switch goalies and there's a little bit of a boost for a team. That's what we're hoping for [Sunday]."

A year ago in the playoffs, Vancouver lost the first two games in the playoffs, against the Los Angeles Kings at home with Luongo in net. Schneider started Game 3 at Los Angeles and gave up just one goal on 20 shots in a 1-0 Kings win. In Game 4, Schneider stopped 43 of 44 shots in a 3-1 Canucks win. Then in Game 5 he stopped 35 of 37 shots in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Kings.

Once again, Schneider will play his first playoff game with the Canucks down two games to none.

"It just kind of is what it is," Schneider said. "We've been real tight, real close in both games. I think we feel that if we do a few things better tonight and I play well, we'll have a good chance to win."

Here's how the lineups could look Sunday night when the Sharks face the Canucks:


TJ Galiardi -- Joe Thornton -- Brent Burns

Patrick Marleau -- Logan Couture -- Raffi Torres

Andrew Desjardins -- Joe Pavelski -- Tommy Wingels

James Sheppard -- Scott Gomez -- Adam Burish

Matt Irwin -- Dan Boyle

Scott Hannan -- Brad Stuart

Justin Braun -- Marc-Edouard Vlasic

Antti Niemi

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Alex Stalock, Matt Tennyson, Bracken Kearns, Tim Kennedy

Injured: Jason Demers (ankle), Martin Havlat (lower body)

Notes: Gomez, who missed the first two games with an undisclosed injury, skated on the fourth line Sunday morning, and Sharks coach Todd McLellan said "there's a good chance he'll play" in Game 3. Gomez plays on the Sharks' No. 2 power-play unit. He has appeared in 140 NHL playoff games. Havlat and Demers did not skate.


Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Alexandre Burrows

Chris Higgins -- Derek Roy -- Ryan Kesler

Mason Raymond -- Maxim Lapierre -- Jannik Hansen

Dale Weise -- Andrew Ebbett -- Zack Kassian

Dan Hamhuis -- Jason Garrison

Andrew Alberts -- Kevin Bieksa

Alexander Edler -- Frank Corrado

Cory Schneider

Roberto Luongo

Scratched: Steven Pinizzotto, Tom Sestito, Cam Barker, Keith Ballard, Derek Joslin

Injured: Christopher Tanev (ankle), David Booth (ankle) Manny Malhotra (eye)

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