CANUCKS (38-15-6) at PREDATORS (34-19-6)
TV: SNET-P (HD), FS-TN
Last 10: Vancouver 8-0-2, Nashville 5-3-2.
Season Series: After splitting games in Vancouver earlier, the Canucks took a 2-1 season-series lead on Feb. 7 behind a 4-3 shootout decision in the Music City. Alex Edler scored in the sixth round of a shootout and Roberto Luongo
made 37 saves to give the surging Canucks the triumph. Vancouver eliminated the Predators from the Western Conference semifinals last season, winning all three games in Nashville, including the series-clinching Game 6.
Big Story: There aren't many teams hotter than the Canucks right about now. The club is 9-0-3 in their last 12 games and has not lost a game in regulation time since Jan. 15. If fact, 10 of the team's past 16 games have gone to overtime or a shootout. Additionally, the Canucks improved to 20-9-2 for the season on the road following their victory over Edmonton on Sunday and now have more away wins than any other NHL club. The Canucks, who are 8-2-1 in their last 11 road contests, finished the 2010-11 campaign with the League's best road record (27-10-4).
Canucks: The line of Daniel and Henrik Sedin
and Alex Burrows is red hot. The twins each had a goal and an assist while Burrows provided two assists in a 5-2 victory over the Oilers on Sunday. The line combined to produce 16 points over the weekend, which included a 6-2 decision over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Henrik Sedin
's six points in the two-game span matched his production of the previous 12 contests.
Predators: Newly-acquired defenseman Hal Gill played his first game with the Predators on Sunday, a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. Gill, who wore No. 75, played alongside rookie Roman Josi for most of the game. He finished with a plus-2 rating and two blocked shots in 16:23 of ice time. Colin Wilson's goal 16:05 into the second proved to be the game-winner for the Predators, who have won two of their last three matches. The contest against the Canucks marks the first of a four-game home stand for the Preds, all against Western Conference opponents in the thick of the playoff hunt. It's also Nashville's longest remaining home stand of the season.
Who's Hot: Predators goalie Pekka Rinne has posted a 16-3-2 record with a 1.98 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage in his last 21 decisions, improving to 32-13-6 on the season. His 32 victories tie him with Detroit's Jimmy Howard for the League lead.
Injury Report: The Canucks are without defenseman Keith Ballard
(neck), who will remain home during Vancouver's six-game road trip. … For the Predators, forwards Patric Hornqvist and Brian McGrattan are both out with upper-body injuries, while center Mike Fisher is day-to-day with the flu.
Stat Pack: Nashville has posted a 16-5-2 ledger in its last 23 games and has outscored the opposition, 69-51, despite being outshot, 710-639 (minus 71). … Since being acquired from Florida on Oct. 22, 2011, Canucks forward David Booth
has collected 11 goals and 22 points in 33 games. The Canucks have not lost in regulation when he records a goal (9-0-2) and have compiled a 13-1-3 mark when he records at least a point. The team is also 20-8-3 when he's in the lineup.
Puck Drop: The Canucks are tops in the NHL in first period goals (64) and have capitalized, recording a record of 32-6-1 when scoring first and are best in the League for most wins when doing so.