The Vancouver Canucks (24-12-7) will look to close out their five-game road trip on a high note tonight when they make a stop at the American Airlines Center to face the Dallas Stars (21-18-3).
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- The Canucks wrap up their five-game road swing tonight after going 2-1-1 over the first four games of the trip. They're coming off a 2-1 shootout loss on Tuesday night in St. Louis.
- The Stars are looking to bounce back from a 5-2 loss in Chicago on Monday – a loss that snapped their season-high five-game win streak.
- The Stars are looking to win their third straight game on home ice tonight which would mark a season-high. You'd have to go back all the way to the start of the 2011.12 regular season to find the last time the Stars had a home win streak that long. They began that season winning their first four games on home ice.
- The Canucks begin the day sitting four points ahead of the Wild for first place in the Northwest Division. Both teams have played 43 games to date. Minnesota is also in action later tonight in San Jose. Vancouver needs a combination of 3.5 wins (seven points earned) and/or Minnesota losses to clinch the division.
- A win tonight would officially clinch a playoff spot for the Canucks. When they do officially qualify for the post-season, it would mark the fifth straight season they have made the playoffs.
- Tonight marks the third and final meeting between the Canucks and Stars this season. The season series is tied at one win each with both teams having earned 4-3 victories in their respective opponent's rink.
- Tonight marks the first time that Canucks F Derek Roy will face his former team since being dealt to Vancouver on the eve of the trade deadline. Roy, who originally joined the Stars via trade from Buffalo last July in a deal that saw Steve Ott and Adam Pardy go the other way, had four goals and 22 points in 30 games played with Dallas before being moved to Vancouver.
- The Canucks recalled D Derek Joslin from Worcester (AHL) yesterday. He could draw into the lineup tonight with the Canucks suddenly thin on the blue-line with both Chris Tanev and Kevin Bieksa out. Joslin, who was a free agent signing by the Canucks in the summer, has yet to appear in a game with Vancouver but does have 114 games worth of NHL experience split between the Sharks and Hurricanes.
- Stars G Kari Lehtonen will be back between the pipes tonight after being out of the lineup the last three games with a groin injury. Lehtonen started the first meeting between the Canucks and Stars back on February 15 but was forced to leave partway through the first period due to injury. G Richard Bachman stepped in that night to guide the Stars to a 4-3 win at Rogers Arena.
- The Stars team the Canucks meet tonight will have a much different look compared to the one they saw just less than a month ago. Among the players the Stars have ship out since that game against Vancouver back on February 21 include former team captain Brenden Morrow (Pittsburgh), future Hall-of-Famer Jaromir Jagr (Boston), Michael Ryder (Montreal) and, of course, Derek Roy (Vancouver).
- Four Canucks share the lead in points in the season series with three each: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows. Former Star Michael Ryder also had three points in the season series.
- Canucks G Cory Schneider, fresh off a 35-save performance despite a losing effort on Tuesday, is expected to get the start again tonight. His numbers against the Stars aren't exactly spectacular although he has posted a 1-1-0 record in the series. He has a 3.54 GAA with
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