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Vancouver Canucks vs. Minnesota Wild

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GAME: Vancouver Canucks (2-0-1) at Minnesota Wild (1-1-1).

TIME: Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. EDT.

The Minnesota Wild may have talented forward Marian Gaborik back on the ice when they host the Vancouver Canucks.

Gaborik, who had 18 goals and 22 assists in 65 games last season, did not play in the preseason and has missed the first three of the regular season because of a pulled groin. However, the 23-year-old winger has resumed skating and had his hardest workout Tuesday since training camp started, according to coach Jacques Lemaire.

"He was asking me the last couple of days to play," Lemaire said following the workout.

A decision on whether or not Gaborik will play will come Wednesday after the morning skate, the coach said.

The Wild are coming off Sunday's 2-1 overtime loss to Los Angeles. Wes Walz scored the lone goal for Minnesota, and Manny Fernandez made 30 saves in his season debut after missing the first two games with back and neck spasms.

Minnesota has scored just two goals since a season-opening 6-3 win over defending Western Conference champion Calgary on Oct. 5.

"It would have been nice to steal one here," Fernandez said. "The guys worked hard and we didn't get what we deserved. But they played hard, too."

The Canucks are coming off Monday's 4-2 win over Detroit. Anson Carter netted the winning goal with 8:46 left, and Henrik Sedin finished with a goal and two assists.

"All in all, it was a good effort, a gritty effort," coach Marc Crawford said. "We stuck with it."

STANDINGS (through Oct. 10): Canucks - 5 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Northwest Division. Wild - 3 points, 4th place, 3 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Canucks - Markus Naslund, 4 goals; Sami Salo, 4 assists; Naslund and Salo, 5 points; Salo and Daniel Sedin, 6 PIM. Wild - Marc Chouinard, 3 goals; Pierre-Marc Bouchard, 4 assists and 4 points; Walz, 11 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 10): Canucks - Power play: 14.3 percent (3 for 21), 20th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.4 percent (14 for 17), 16th. Wild - Power play: 33.3 percent (3 for 8), 3rd. Penalty killing: 92.3 percent (12 for 13), 3rd (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Canucks - Dan Cloutier (1-0-1, 0 SO, 2.42 GAA); Alex Auld (1-0-0, 2.00). Wild - Dwayne Roloson (1-1-0, 2.52); Fernandez (0-0-1, 1.90).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Wild, 2-1-3.

LAST MEETING: March 10, 2004; Tied, 1-1. At Vancouver, British Columbia, Geoff Sanderson scored the tying goal with 4:17 left in the third period in his first game with the Canucks after being acquired at the trade deadline.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Canucks - 1-0-1 on the road; Wild - 1-0-0 at home.


Associated Press
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