VANCOUVER -- If new Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella wants to confuse New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider when he returns to play his old team Tuesday night, all he has to do is keep the same lines that finished Sunday's 5-4 comeback win in overtime over the Calgary Flames.
Splitting up identical twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin is such a rarity Schneider almost never saw it during his time in Vancouver. It certainly got the Canucks attention in Calgary.
"As soon as he wrote the lines on the board, it kind of gives you a little jolt when you see the twins split up. You know it's serious," said defenseman Kevin Bieksa. "I don't get paid the big bucks like the coaching staff to make those decisions and obviously I think they are better together, but at times it's definitely effective to split them up."
After falling behind 3-1 early in the third period, the Canucks stormed back , with the Sedins each setting up a goal on their new lines.
Tortorella downplayed the move, saying it was more about changing the entire forward mix after a miserable start.
"It's a no-brainer when you are playing the way we were for 40 minutes there," Tortorella said. "It wasn't splitting up the twins. It was just trying to see if something would stick on the wall and maybe score us a goal. So we flushed it."
The Sedins expect to be reunited against the Devils, but Tortorella has already shown he won't hesitate to change things up should his team fall behind. And it was clear immediately that Daniel Sedin, who is the finisher when playing with Henrik, added a playmaking element to the second line centered by Ryan Kesler.
"It doesn't bother me and Danny, so if the team gets motivation or energy from that, perfect," said Henrik, who agreed that Daniel is more of a playmaker on his own. "My opinion is we are two skill players like anyone else in this League. We could talk about [Detroit's Pavel] Datsyuk and [Henrik] Zetterberg getting split up when they play together. The only difference is we're brothers.
"Danny knows he has to shoot more. I know my mindset needs to change but I have been successful doing my thing for a few years, and I'm going to take the shots when they are there."
The Devils may make a few changes after falling to 0-1-2 after blowing a 3-0 lead and losing 5-4 in a shootout to the Edmonton Oilers Monday night. New Jersey had a sparsely attended morning skate but Rostislav Olesz is expected to take Ryan Carter's spot on the fourth line, while Mark Fayne comes in for Adam Larsson on defense.
Here are the rest of the projected lineups for Tuesday night:
Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Jannik Hansen
Chris Higgins – Ryan Kesler – David Booth
Mike Santorelli – Brad Richardson – Dale Weise
Tom Sestito – Zac Delpe – Yannick Weber
Dan Hamhuis – ???Jason Garrison
Alexander Edler??? – Kevin Bieksa
Ryan Stanton – Chris Tanev
Injured: Jordan Schroeder (foot), Alexandre Burrows (foot)
Scratched: Andrew Alberts, Zack Kassian (suspended)
Dainius Zubrus – Patrik Elias – Jaromir Jagr
Adam Henrique – Travis Zajac – Michael Ryder
Ryane Clowe – Andrei Loktionov – Damien Brunner
Rostislav Olesz – Stephen Gionta – Steve Bernier
Bryce Salvador – Marek Zidlicky
Anton Volchenkov – Peter Harrold
Andy Greene – Mark Fayne
Injured: LW Mattias Tedenby (lower body)
Scratched: Adam Larsson, Ryan Carter, Jacob Josefson