The Vancouver Canucks (21-11-6) will try to sweep their three-game home stand which wraps up tonight when they play host the Phoenix Coyotes (17-15-6) at Rogers Arena.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Vancouver has won five consecutive games at Rogers Arena and two straight games overall coming into play tonight.
- Like the Canucks, the Coyotes come into play tonight on a roll as they have won three in a row to put themselves back into the playoff hunt.
- The Coyotes are beginning a three-game, Western Canada road swing tonight and they'll be looking to turn their fortunes away from home around. They've won just one of their last eight (1-4-3) games away from the Jobing.com Arena although, to their credit, they have earned points in three straight road outings entering tonight's contest.
- The Canucks had a team day off yesterday so any news on who starts in goal tonight won't be known until Monday morning at the earliest. However, given his recent body of work, it would be tough to bet against Cory Schneider getting his 11th straight start. Schneider has started both games in the season series against Phoenix so far posting a 1-1-0 record with a 2.02 GAA and a .927 save percentage. He stopped 33 of 34 shots in the last head-to-head meeting back on March 21 to help his team to a 2-1 win at the Jobing.com Arena.
- Coyotes G Mike Smith made his return to Phoenix's lineup on Saturday and marked the occasion by posting his fifth shutout of the season with a 24-save effort in a 4-0 win over the Avalanche. Smith had missed six consecutive games after being run over by Canucks D Alex Edler back on March 21. That incident ended up costing Edler a two-game suspension from the NHL.
- Tonight marks the third and final meeting between the Canucks and Coyotes this season. The series is tied at one win a piece with the road team being victorious in both games.
- The Coyotes team the Canucks face tonight will have a noticeably different look compared to the team they saw just over two weeks ago. Phoenix was relatively active on trade deadline day shipping away three veteran forwards in Steve Sullivan, Matthew Lombardi and one-time Canuck Raffi Torres.
- The Canucks begin play today sitting two points ahead of the Wild in the race for first place in the Northwest Division. Both teams have played 38 games to date. A win tonight would allow the Canucks to pull four points ahead of the idle Wild, who are off until Tuesday when they host the Blackhawks.
- The Coyotes begin play today sitting three points back of the Red Wings for the eighth-and-final playoff spot in the West. However, they have played one more game than the Red Wings.
- Coyotes F Antoine Vermette leads all players in the season series with three points (2-1-3). Canucks D Chris Tanev is the only Vancouver player with multiple points in the season series. He has one goal and one assist.
- The Canucks are coming off back-to-back games where they managed to score goals in all three regulation periods. Vancouver has a record of 7-0-0 in games where they have scored in all three periods this season. Overall, they have scored in eight straight periods dating back to the second period of their game on April 1 in San Jose.
- Canucks F Henrik Sedin's shorthanded goal on Saturday – albeit into an empty net – was his first since March 30, 2010 against Phoenix. That goal was an unassisted marker that came against then-Coyotes netminder Ilya Bryzgalov.
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