The Vancouver Canucks (14-9-6) will open a short three-game, four-day road trip tonight at the Jobing.com Arena when they face the slumping Phoenix Coyotes (13-13-4).
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Tonight's game features a clash of two teams that have been struggling recently. The Canucks, despite coming off a 3-2 win on Tuesday over the Blues to close out their home stand, have just four wins in their last 12 outings (4-6-2). The Coyotes, meanwhile, are coming off a winless four-game road swing (0-3-1) which included dropping back-to-back games at the Staples Center against the Kings to close out the trip.
- If you think the Canucks have struggled scoring lately, that pales in comparison to the scoring woes of the Coyotes. On their recent four-game trip, they were out-scored by a combined 10-2 and were blanked in the first three games of the trip. In fact, they set a new franchise record for longest streak without a goal at 245:33 before finally snapping that drought on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
- The Canucks scored a 2-1 shootout win in Columbus in their last road outing – a victory that snapped a four-game road winless streak (0-3-1). Their overall record this season away from Rogers Arena is 6-4-3.
- The road may not have been kind to the Coyotes lately but home ice sure has. Phoenix is riding a two-game home ice win streak and will be looking to stretch that to a season-high three games tonight. They've also won four of their last five games at the Jobing.com Arena (4-1-0).
- The Canucks have earned points in their last six straight visits to Phoenix (3-0-3). They haven't suffered an outright loss at the Jobing.com Arena since March 21, 2009. Their last three blemishes there have all been shootout defeats.
- Tonight marks the second of three meetings between the Canucks and Coyotes this season. It's also the first and only visit this season for the Canucks to the Jobing.com Arena. In their first meeting of the season back on February 26, Coyotes F Kyle Chipchura scored twice to lead Phoenix to a 4-2 win. Canucks G Cory Schneider made just 18 saves in the loss.
- Coyotes forwards Kyle Chipchura (2-0-2), Mikkel Boedker (1-1-2) and Antoine Vermette (1-1-2) each had two points in the first meeting of the season against the Canucks. No Canuck managed to record more than one point that night.
- Canucks F Zack Kassian's return to the lineup appears to be short-lived as he re-aggravated his back injury in the first period of Tuesday's win and is back to being day-to-day. He did not accompany the team to begin this trip. F Tom Sestito is also a question mark as well with an undisclosed injury.
- Canucks G Cory Schneider will be the likely starter tonight after picking up his seventh win of the season on Tuesday and snapping a personal three-game winless skid in the process. Schneider has not won back-to-back starts since February 7 and 9 when he defeated the Wild and Flames in consecutive outings.
- The Canucks come into tonight's game sitting in sixth-place in the NHL's Western Conference standings and trailing the division-leading Wild by two points. They are four points ahead of the Coyotes who are currently tied for ninth place.
- Coyotes G Mike Smith, who will be the likely starter tonight, is riding a season-high four-game winless streak (0-3-1). He has started the last seven games in a row for Phoenix.
- Coyotes captain F Shane Doan needs one goal to take over sole possession of first place on the Coyotes' franchise all-time goals list. He's currently tied for first with Dale Hawerchuk with 329 goals.
- Canucks D Kevin Bieksa is two points shy of recording his 200th career NHL point.
- The Canucks are 0-2-0 this season without Zack Kassian in the lineup.
- Canucks F Daniel Sedin brings a team-high three-game point streak into tonight's contest (1-3-4). A point tonight would stretch his streak to a season-high four games. His last four game point streak was from February 15 to 21.
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