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game preview

Canucks at Wild preview

Vancouver goes for sixth win in seven games; Minnesota sticks with Stalock in goal

by Jessi Pierce / Independent Correspondent

CANUCKS (30-19-5) at WILD (24-22-6)

8 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, SNP, NHL.TV


The Game

The Vancouver Canucks will try for their sixth victory in seven games when they visit the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.

The Canucks, 5-0-1 in their past six games and 14-3-1 in their past 18, hold a three-point lead on the Edmonton Oilers for the Pacific Division lead.

Goalie Jacob Markstrom is expected to start; he's 5-1-0 with a 2.18 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in his past six starts.

The Wild, 4-2-0 in their past six games after going 1-5-1 in their previous seven games, trail the Calgary Flames by six points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

Goalie Alex Stalock will make his second straight start for Minnesota after making 27 saves in a 3-2 overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.


Players to watch

Canucks forward J.T. Miller has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games. 

Wild forward Mats Zuccarello has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past five games.


They said it 

"You look at their team, four good lines, their top four 'D' is as good as you'll see in the NHL and they're fighting for their lives." -- Canucks coach Travis Green on Minnesota

"[The Canucks are] a real good team. I've watched lot of their games lately and they don't quit. ... There's a reason that they're at the top of their division. … They've always been a hard-working team, now they have parts to it that will make them a successful team." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on Vancouver 


Canucks projected lineup

Tanner Pearson -- Bo Horvat -- Loui Eriksson

J.T. Miller -- Elias Pettersson -- Brock Boeser

Antoine Roussel -- Adam Gaudette -- Jake Virtanen

Tim Schaller -- Jay Beagle -- Brandon Sutter

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Quinn Hughes -- Christopher Tanev

Oscar Fantenberg -- Tyler Myers

Jacob Markstrom

Thatcher Demko

Scratched: Zack MacEwen, Justin Bailey, Jordie Benn

Injured: Tyler Motte (upper body), Micheal Ferland (upper body), Josh Leivo (fractured kneecap), Tyler Graovac (lower body)


Wild projected lineup

Zach Parise -- Eric Staal -- Mats Zuccarello 

Jason Zucker -- Luke Kunin -- Kevin Fiala

Marcus Foligno -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Jordan Greenway

Ryan Donato -- Mikko Koivu -- Ryan Hartman

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Brad Hunt -- Greg Pateryn

Alex Stalock

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: Victor Rask

Injured: Carson Soucy (illness)


Status report

Soucy, a defenseman, did not take part in the morning skate and will be a game-time decision. 


Stat pack

Hughes has five points (three goals, two assists) in the past four games. … Pettersson has 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in his past 13 games. … Tanev will play in his 500th NHL game. … Suter has six points (one goal, five assists) in his past six games. … Zucker has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past five games.

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