Canucks, Flames Set For Round Two
Image from TSN.ca
The Calgary Flames drew first blood in the battle between two of the fiercest rivals in the National Hockey League. The Vancouver Canucks will look to return the favour Friday night but will need to do so with a roster that has been hit by a couple of serious injuries.
That Canucks are playing their first game in five days after outlasting the Dallas Stars in a shootout Sunday night. Vancouver held the lead on to separate occasions in that game but Dallas managed to respond each time, including a late third period goal by Jamie Benn to send the game to overtime. Kyle Wellwood and Ryan Kesler both scored in the shootout and Roberto Luongo stopped Brad Richards and Mike Ribeiro to give the Canucks back to back wins. It was not all smiles for the Canucks as for the second consecutive game they lost a player to injury.
Defenseman Sami Salo was injured during the first period of Sunday's game in a collision with Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars. Salo played one more shift but quickly left for the dressing room and did not return. Injuries continue to plague the Turku, Finland native as this is the 38th time. Over the past 10 seasons Salo has missed 223 games as a result of his injuries. He is expected to miss the next 3-5 weeks with a sprained MCL. Aaron Rome will slot in and the Canucks will not recall any defensemen from Manitoba for salary cap reasons.
On the forward side of things. Michael Grabner has been given a chance to prove that he belongs in the NHL while Guillaume Desbiens was returned to the Manitoba Moose after playing in Sunday's game. Some believe this will be Grabner's last chance to prove his worth, and he knows it. Alain Vigneault will be giving Grabner a great chance to succeed by putting him on the first line with Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows. Bernier drops back to the third line with Wellwood and Ryan Johnson. Glass moves to the fourth line with Rick Rypien and Darcy Hordichuk.
The Calgary Flames are hurting as well, but in a different way. After starting the season with four consecutive wins, the Flames hit a snag. They lost 5-2 to the Dallas Stars and followed it up with blowing the largest lead in NHL history. At the 11:43 mark of the first period in Monday's re-match of last season's first round playoff series with the Chicago Blackhawks, it looked like the game was over as Olli Jokinen scored his first of the year to give the Flames a 5-0 lead. Game over right? Well as the Flames and Canucks should both no, you cannot count out the Hawks.
John Madden scored late in the first to get the Hawks on the board and the implosion began there for the Calgary Flames. The Blackhawks took control of the game and managed to tie it up at 5 early in the third period. The game would go into overtime where Brent Seabrook would cap the amazing comeback with a goal just 26 seconds into the extra frame. Calgary were fortunately right back in action the next night to hopefully redeem themselves but fell short against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Regardless of any streaks either team is on, the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames tend to bring out the best in one another as these two have crept their way up as one of the biggest rivalries in the National Hockey League.
The puck drops at 6:00PM Pacific. Watch the game on Sportsnet Pacific with commentary by John Shorthouse, John Garrett and Dan Murphy. Joey Kenward has the radio call on TEAM1040 with Tom Larscheid.
Game related articles
- Canucks not worried, look to close gap on Flames Friday (Vancouver Sun)
- ‘It’s up to me now’: Michael Grabner practises with Canucks’ first line (Vancouver Sun)
- Canucks' depth suddenly an issue as Salo, Sedin out at least a month (The Province)
- Vigneault makes appeal to Canucks' fourth line (The Province)
- Pavol Demitra has tendinitis in his shoulder. No ETA for a return to Canucks (The Province)
- Opportunity knocks for Michael Grabner (The Province))
- Canucks dealing with injuries ahead of tough stretch (TSN)
- Flames must learn new habits (Calgary Herald)
- Flames experience inconsistent start to season (Calgary Herald)
- Coach Sutter shuffles lines ahead of matchup with Canucks (TSN)
Expected Canucks Lineup
Raymond - Kesler - Samuelsson
Johnson - Wellwood - Bernier
Glass - Rypien - Hordichuk
Rome - Edler
O'Brien - Ehrhoff
Sjostrom - Jokinen - Nystrom
Bourque - Langkow - Dawes
Prust - Boyd - McGrattan
Pardy - Giordano
Phaneuf - Regehr
|Canucks||H. Sedin - 3
Burrows - 3
|H. Sedin - 5||H. Sedin - 8||Bieksa - 15||Burrows - 23||Ehrhoff +3|
|Flames||Bourque - 4||Bourque - 5||Bourque - 9||Iginla - 16||Iginla - 18||Glencross +4
|Power Play||Penalty Kill||Shorthanded Goals|
|Canucks||36.8% (7/19) - 3rd||66.7% (14/21) - T-25th||0 G - 0 GA|
|Flames||41.2% (7/17) - 1st||81.8% (18/22) - T-11th||0 G - 0 GA|
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