Coming off their first home loss of the season, the Vancouver Canucks will look for a bounce back victory tonight when they close out their three-game home stand hosting the Montreal Canadiens in front of what should be a raucous Saturday crowd at Rogers Arena.
With the Canucks set to hit the road starting next Tuesday for a seven-game road swing, they'll be keen to take advantage of home ice while they have the opportunity especially after being thumped 4-1 by the Sharks on Thursday and having their three-game win streak snapped. While Vancouver will welcome back Zack Kassian to the lineup tonight after the power forward finished serving his eight-game suspension, they'll have to make do without defenceman Alex Edler. Edler will sit out the first game of the three-game suspension he was handed for his illegal hit on Sharks forward Tomas Hertl.
The Habs, meanwhile, are coming off a 4-1 win in Edmonton on Thursday that improved their record on their current Western Canada road trip to 1-1-0. Sophomore forwards Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk, both of whom will face the Canucks for the first time ever tonight, each had a goal in the win over the Oilers. Roberto Luongo and Carey Price are the expected starters for their respective clubs.
Puck drop at 7 pm PT – Live on CBC, THE TEAM 1040, or online at www.teamradio.ca.
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Zack attacks. The Canucks are expected to welcome Zack Kassian back to the lineup tonight and they hope his time off due to suspension will serve as motivation for him to come back better than before. Wherever he slots into the lineup Kassian will need to demonstrate aggressiveness both in terms of offence and physical play.
2. Slow down Subban. The reigning Norris Trophy winner is having another strong start to the season already with six points in four games played. He's an especially big threat on the power play so the Canucks will want to make sure they stay out of the sin bin as much as possible.
3. Price comes up big. Montreal's B.C.-born goalie has just one win in three starts so far this season and is coming off a 3-2 loss in Calgary three nights ago. He'll need to be sharper tonight against a Vancouver team that has shown they can put up goals in bunches if given the opportunity.
IN THE INFIRMARY
For the Canucks…
F Alex Burrows (foot) and F Jordan Schroeder (broken left foot/ankle) are on the injured reserve list.
For the Canadiens…
F George Parros (concussion), D Douglas Murray (upper body), D Davis Drewiske (sprained shoulder) and D Alexei Emelin (right knee surgery) are on the injured reserve list.
1 - Win for Vancouver in their last five head-to-head meetings versus Montreal (1-4-0).
2 – Points needed by Henrik Sedin to reach 800 in his NHL career.
3 – Game goal streak for Mike Santorelli, longest of his NHL career.
3 – Straight games with a power play goal scored by the Habs (4-for-18 overall this season).
6 – Different Canadiens in franchise history to win the Norris Trophy, the latest being P.K. Subban last season.
18 – Consecutive penalties killed by the Canucks to start this season.
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