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Canucks at Sharks preview

Sutter game-time decision for Vancouver; Vlasic to play 1,000th NHL game for San Jose

by Ross McKeon / Independent Correspondent

CANUCKS (16-12-4) at SHARKS (15-17-2)

10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, SN360, SN1, CITY, NBCSCA, NHL.TV


The Game

Marc-Edouard Vlasic will become the 17th defenseman in NHL history to play 1,000 games with one team when the San Jose Sharks face the Vancouver Canucks at SAP Center on Saturday.

The 32-year-old, who has played his entire 14-season NHL career with the Sharks, also will become the third player to reach 1,000 games with San Jose, joining forward Patrick Marleau (1,523 with the Sharks) and center Joe Thornton (1,068).

San Jose, on a season-long six-game winless streak (0-5-1), is coming off a 6-3 loss against the New York Rangers on Thursday in the debut of coach Bob Boughner, who took over after Peter DeBoer was fired Wednesday.

Brandon Sutter will be a game-time decision for the Canucks, who are 4-2-0 in their past six games after going 2-4-1 in their previous seven. The forward has missed 13 games with a groin injury.


Players to watch

Canucks center Elias Pettersson has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past 10 games.

Sharks center Logan Couture has 38 points (19 goals, 19 assists) in 40 games against Vancouver.


They said it 

"It wasn't too long ago they were playing deep into the postseason. They've had a lot of big changes, but I'm expecting a real hard game. This is a tough building to play in and they've got a lot of good players on their team. It's going to be a good test but you can say that about every team these days." -- Canucks coach Travis Green

"I want to be a four-line team. I want us to play with energy and be that team that is relentless, and not let the other team off the hook when you have them in that position." -- Sharks coach Bob Boughner


Canucks projected lineup

Tanner Pearson -- Bo Horvat -- Josh Leivo

J.T. Miller -- Elias Pettersson -- Jake Virtanen

Antoine Roussel -- Adam Gaudette -- Brock Boeser

Tim Schaller -- Jay Beagle -- Brandon Sutter

Tyler Myers -- Christopher Tanev

Jordie Benn -- Troy Stecher

Quinn Hughes -- Jalen Chatfield

Jacob Markstrom

Michael Dipietro

Scratched: Guillaume Brisebois, Oscar Fantenberg, Loui Eriksson, Zack MacEwen

Injured: Tyler Motte (upper body), Alexander Edler (upper body), Tyler Graovac (lower body), Micheal Ferland (upper body), Thatcher Demko (concussion)


Sharks projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Logan Couture -- Timo Meier

Tomas Hertl -- Joe Thornton -- Kevin Labanc

Patrick Marleau -- Barclay Goodrow -- Joachim Blichfeld

Marcus Sorensen -- Noah Gregor -- Melker Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Erik Karlsson

Brenden Dillon -- Brent Burns

Mario Ferraro -- Tim Heed

Aaron Dell

Martin Jones

Scratched: Dylan Gambrell

Injured: Dalton Prout (upper body), Antti Suomela (upper body), Radim Simek (knee)


Status report

Markstrom will make his third straight start. … Gregor will play center, his natural position, Boughner said. … Suomela is day to day. … Simek is expected to be out at least one more week.


Stat pack

Pearson has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past seven games. … Leivo has six points (five goals, one assist) in his past seven games. … Vlasic has been in the San Jose lineup for 576 regular-season wins, the fourth-most in NHL history through 999 games behind Larry Robinson with the Montreal Canadiens (607), Serge Savard with the Canadiens(599) and Nicklas Lidstrom with the Detroit Red Wings (581).

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