Pregame: Canucks Visit Islanders
The Red Hot Vancouver Canucks will pay a visit to the streaking New York Islanders Tuesday evening, at 4 pm pt.
The Canucks are coming off a shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings but still haven't lost in regulation since December 5th, a span of sixteen games. The Canucks have gone 13-0-3 during that span and currently occupy the number one spot in the NHL.
Daniel Sedin was named the NHL's first star of the week after scoring 7 points (5 goals) in 4 games. He will look to keep his hot streak going, as will Ryan Kesler, who had a hat trick two games ago versus Edmonton. Kesler has two career hat tricks, and both have come this season.
Roberto Luongo, after a magnificent preformance against the Red Wings, will get the start for Vancouver, and it is unclear now as to who will start for the Islanders. Often injured netminder Rick DiPietro is sidelined with a lower body injury, Dwayne Roloson was traded to Tampa Bay, so the responsibility will fall with either Kevin Poulin or Nathan Lawson.
Whomever gets the start will be up against a tough attack. Daniel and Henrik Sedin both currently are 3rd in the NHL Scoring race, and Ryan Kesler's 23 goals are fifth. (Daniel's 25 goals are 3rd.)
The Islanders aren't the doormats they were at the beginning of the season. They've gone 8-3-1 in their last 12, and John Tavares has been lighting the lamp of late, scoring six goals in his last 12 games. He's also added eight helpers.
So, it's the Islanders and the Canucks in a battle of two hot teams. Expect a hard fought, tight checking game.
Notes: Daniel and Henrik Sedin each have 54 points, trailing Sidney Crosby who has 66... John Tavares leads the Islanders with 28 points... Former Canuck Michael Grabner will face his former team for the first time; he has 9 goals and 3 assists in 36 games.. The only player on the Islanders who is not a minus is Defenseman Milan Jurcina, who is an even 0 through 22 games.