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Preview: Canucks at Sharks

San Jose's Joe Thornton one assist from 1,000; Vancouver has lost three in a row

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

CANUCKS (26-29-7) at SHARKS (37-18-7)

10:30 p.m. ET; SNP, CSN-CA, NHL.TV


Canucks team scope

Defenseman Christopher Tanev and forwards Michael Chaput and Sven Baertschi will return to the lineup, and forward Joseph Cramarossa will make his debut for the Vancouver Canucks. Tanev (mumps) and Chaput (mumps symptoms) each missed two games, and Baertschi missed nine with a concussion sustained against the Nashville Predators on Feb. 7. "I know it's going to be a tough first period for me," Baertschi said. "It's just a matter of getting back into game shape. ... Tried to push it a little bit this morning, get a good sweat going, and I'm feeling good right now." Tanev said he had a setback after practicing Monday but expects to play. "Hopefully I'm over this thing now," Tanev said. Chaput also said he's ready to play. "So far no complications, so it's all good," he said. "I never experienced anything like that, but it's just nice to be back and be healthy again." Cramarossa, claimed off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, will skate on the fourth line. "I hope to bring the same physicality and energy I did with Anaheim," he said. Forward Nikita Tryamkin (mumps symptoms) remained in Vancouver, and coach Willie Desjardins said he doesn't expect him on the three-game road trip. Forward Nikolay Goldobin, acquired in a trade with the San Jose Sharks as part of the package for forward Jannik Hansen on Tuesday, won't play because of visa issues. Desjardins said it's likely that Goldobin will make his Canucks debut at the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.


Sharks team scope

Center Joe Thornton needs one assist to become the 13th NHL player with 1,000. "He makes people around him better," coach Peter DeBoer said. "The guys that play with him usually play at career-high levels, and I think that's a direct reflection of him and how he plays." Backup goaltender Aaron Dell will make his 11th start of the season and expects to see his workload increase during the remainder of the regular season. Martin Jones has started 52 games, and DeBoer wants to give him more rest down the stretch. "We got a lot of games coming up in a short amount of time," Dell said. "I think my role's going to be a little bit bigger for the rest of the way out." Nine of Dell's first 10 starts came during back-to-back games, but the Sharks didn't play Wednesday and don't play again until Sunday. "I've felt like I've gotten better every game I've played, so hopefully that continues," Dell said. Hansen is awaiting his visa, so he won't be in the lineup against his former team. "I've seen it take a few days, I've seen it take a week," DeBoer said. "I spoke to him yesterday. He's excited. He's ready to get in here and get to work as soon as he can."


Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Markus Granlund

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Loui Eriksson

Jayson Megna -- Brandon Sutter -- Brendan Gaunce

Reid Boucher -- Michael Chaput -- Joseph Cramarossa

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa -- Christopher Tanev

Ben Hutton -- Alex Biega

Ryan Miller

Richard Bachman

Scratched: Philip Larsen

Injured: Jacob Markstrom (lower body), Nikita Tryamkin (mumps), Jack Skille (groin), Anton Rodin (knee), Erik Gudbranson (wrist surgery), Derek Dorsett (neck surgery)


Sharks projected lineup

Kevin Labanc -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau -- Logan Couture -- Mikkel Boedker

Marcus Sorensen -- Tomas Hertl -- Joel Ward

Micheal Haley -- Chris Tierney -- Melker Karlsson

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- David Schlemko

Aaron Dell

Martin Jones

Scratched: None

Injured: Joonas Donskoi (upper body), Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist)


Status report

DeBoer juggled his bottom two lines. Hertl moved from left wing to center on the third line, bumping Tierney to the fourth line. Sorensen moved from the fourth line to the third.


Who's hot

Daniel Sedin has a five-game point streak (one goal, four assists). Horvat has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past seven games. ... Burns has 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in his past 15 games. Pavelski has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past six games.

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