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Preview: Canucks at Penguins

Sidney Crosby tries for 1,000th NHL point; Vancouver likely without center Bo Horvat

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

CANUCKS (25-25-6) at PENGUINS (34-13-7)

7 p.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports, SN, ROOT, NHL.TV


Canucks team scope

Vancouver Canucks forward Bo Horvat is doubtful after sustaining a lower-body injury Sunday. An MRI came back negative Monday but Horvat did not participate in the morning skate and coach Willie Desjardins said Horvat is day to day. "He does a lot of different roles, so it's not one guy who's going to come in and fill (Horvat's void)," Desjardins said. "He plays power play and penalty killing, so we have a couple of roles to fill." Without Horvat, who has scored two goals and four points in his past two games, the Canucks will attempt to stay within striking distance of a Stanley Cup Playoffs spot with a win. Vancouver is four points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference. The Canucks will try for their third win in four games after losing four straight from Jan. 26-Feb. 7. Goalie Ryan Miller, who is expected to start, could help their cause with his 40th NHL shutout. He has three shutouts in his past 12 starts but is 1-5-0 in his past six games. Forward Daniel Sedin will play in his 1,200th NHL game. Sedin, who will join twin brother Henrik Sedin as the only Canucks to play 1,200 games, has 973 points (367 goals, 606 assists) in 1,199 NHL games, all with Vancouver.


Penguins team scope

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby will try for a third time to reach 1,000 NHL points. Though he has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in his past 12 games, Crosby has been stuck on 998 points the past two games after having one assist against the Calgary Flames in Pittsburgh's previous home game on Feb. 7. Crosby has nine points (six goals, three assists) in 11 games against the Canucks. "That milestone is such a great accomplishment," coach Mike Sullivan said. "It speaks to the competiveness of a player." Forward Evgeni Malkin, who has missed seven games because of a lower-body injury, will be a game-time decision, Sullivan said. He is second to Crosby on the Penguins with 22 goals and 54 points. "He can always make something happen out there," forward Tom Kuhnhackl said. "It's nice to have him back in the lineup." Malkin's presence could be more valuable with forward Bryan Rust (upper body) unavailable. Sullivan said Monday that Rust's injury is "longer-term" than originally believed, but should not be season-ending. Pittsburgh, which has eight wins in its past 12 games (8-2-2), is tied in points (75) with the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers for second in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins have one game in hand on the Blue Jackets and two on the Rangers. Goalie Matt Murray will start after backing up Marc-Andre Fleury on Saturday.


Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Markus Granlund

Loui Eriksson -- Brandon Sutter -- Jayson Megna

Alexandre Burrows -- Brendan Gaunce -- Jannik Hansen

Reid Boucher -- Michael Chaput -- Jack Skille

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa -- Christopher Tanev

Ben Hutton -- Nikita Tryamkin

Ryan Miller

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: Alex Biega, Philip Larsen

Injured: Bo Horvat (lower body), Sven Baertschi (concussion), Erik Gudbranson (wrist), Anton Rodin (knee)


Penguins projected lineup

Chris Kunitz -- Sidney Crosby -- Jake Guentzel

Matt Cullen -- Nick Bonino -- Phil Kessel

Scott Wilson -- Evgeni Malkin -- Patric Hornqvist

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Carter Rowney -- Josh Archibald

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Olli Maatta -- Trevor Daley

Matt Murray

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: Chad Ruhwedel, Eric Fehr

Injured : Conor Sheary (upper body), Carl Hagelin (concussion), Bryan Rust (upper body)


Status report

Gaunce will take Horvat's place in the lineup. He last played Feb. 4 against the Minnesota Wild. … Rowney will likely play fourth-line center with Fehr a healthy scratch. They rotated at the position during practice Monday.


Who's hot

Granlund (two goals, two assists) and Edler (one goal, three assists) each have four points during four-game point streaks. … Kessel has scored once in each of his past two games; on Saturday, his goal with 15 seconds remaining in the third period against the Arizona Coyotes sent the game into overtime tied 3-3. Kessel has eight points (five goals, three assists) in his past seven games.

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