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Tale of the Tape: Canucks vs. Flames (2.9.13)

Saturday, 09.02.2013 / 12:00 PM / Features
By Daniel Fung
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Tale of the Tape: Canucks vs. Flames (2.9.13)

Tonight’s game is presented by Great Canadian Casino (River Rock)

Team Record: 6-2-2
Last Game: 4-1 W at Minnesota (FEB.07.13)

Season Series: 1-0-0
Last Meeting: 3-2 SO/W (JAN.23.13)
Team Record: 3-3-2
Last Game: 4-3 OT/W at Columbus (FEB.07.13)

Season Series: 0-0-1
Last Meeting: 2-3 SO/L (JAN.23.13)

Storylines

The Set-Up

The Canucks (6-2-2) will look to pick up their fifth win in a row tonight when they return home to Rogers Arena to host the Flames (3-3-2) in a Hockey Day in Canada clash.

What You Need to Know
  • The Canucks return to Rogers Arena tonight looking to extend their three-game home win streak and their four-game overall win streak. They are coming off a sweep of their recent two-game road trip with victories over Edmonton and Minnesota.
  • The Flames are closing out their three-game road trip tonight that has started with back-to-back wins over Detroit and Columbus. It is the first time the Flames have won consecutive games this season.
  • This current home stand is the longest for the Canucks this season in terms of games played and days encompassed. They will play four games over the next nine days on this home stand.
  • This is the second of five meetings between the Canucks and Flames this season. Canucks F Zack Kassian scored once in regulation and once in the shootout to lift his team to a 3-2 shootout win back on January 23 in a game that saw them squander a 2-0 lead.
  • Flames F Alex Tanguay has been red hot lately. He brings a team-high seven-game point streak into tonight's contest netting four goals and nine points during that stretch. It's still well shy of his all-time longest point streak, however. He had a 16-game point streak as a member of the Colorado Avalanche back in 2003.
  • Other Flames with notable active point streaks include D Dennis Wideman with a four-game point streak (2-3-5) and F Jarome Iginla with a three-game point streak (1-2-3).
  • The Canucks have earned a point in every single game played against Northwest Division rivals this season going 4-0-1. Their lone blemish was a shootout loss to the Oilers back on January 20.
  • Coquitlam-native F Ben Street is expected to make his NHL debut tonight for the Flames. Street was called up from Abbotsford (AHL) yesterday where he had been the Heat's leading scorer with 31 points (12-19-31) in 44 games played.
  • Flames D Anton Babchuk could make his season debut tonight. He hurt his shoulder while playing in the KHL during the lockout with Donbass HC where he had one goal and three points in 31 games played.
  • The Flames have played the fewest games out of all teams in the NHL with just eight. They are entering into a very busy stretch of their season, however. Starting tonight, they will play 11 games in their next 20 days to close out the month of February.
Follow the Action

Tonight's game faces off at 7 pm PT and can be seen coast-to-coast in Canada on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. Listen live on The TEAM 1040 Sports Radio or online at teamradio.ca.

Those away from a TV or radio can follow @CanucksGame on Twitter for live in-game play-by-play.

Keys to the Game


The Canucks Win If...

  • They start strong. A repeat of Thursday's first period against the Wild would be ideal, especially to set the tone in their first game back at home after a road trip. The Canucks played perhaps their best period of the season in that opening frame against the Wild and were dominant at both ends of the rink out-shooting Minnesota 9-3 and out-scoring them 2-0.
  • The PK tightens up. Vancouver's penalty kill has given up goals in back-to-back games, which isn't a major concern although it could be a sign of trouble if they start getting sloppy. Calgary's power play is one of the best in the league clicking at 26.5 percent efficiency and has scored in all-but-one of their eight games played.
  • They make their shots count. Calgary doesn't give up many shots, in fact they're near the bottom of the league in that category, but they do give up plenty of goals. A few high quality shots that result in goals early might force the Flames to open up leading to more offensive opportunities.


The Flames Win If...

  • Iginla and Tanguay keep rolling. They may be without linemate Cammalleri but Calgary's big-two are red hot. During this recent two-game win streak they've combined for two goals and five points.
  • They keep their game simple. Pucks to the net, traffic in front and safe plays in their own zone is a good way to go for a team with mounting injuries including several of their star forwards such as Cammalleri, Backlund and Baertschi unavailable.
  • Irving stands tall. The Flames' netminder had his shaky moments on Thursday but still got the job done in an overtime win making 26 saves on 29 shots. He'll have his work cut out for him against a Canucks team that seems to be finding their stride in offence.

Ones to Watch

MASON RAYMOND

Mason Raymond has been a bit hot and cold over the first 10 games of the season but his numbers seem to suggest that he's ready to put his tough, injury-plagued 2011.12 campaign behind him and get back to playing at the same level he was at just three short seasons ago when he notched a career-high 25 goals and 53 points.

The Cochrane, Alberta-native is off to a solid start this season having already tallied four goals and six points so far. The Canucks will especially love the fact that he leads the team with three power play goals, which is equal to what he had over the past two seasons combined.

The 27-year-old will try to stretch his point streak to a season-high three games tonight against a team he has traditionally had plenty of offensive success against in the Flames. Raymond has 17 points (9-8-17) in 25 career games versus Calgary, including scoring a goal earlier this season back on January 23.

LELAND IRVING

With Calgary's number one netminder Miikka Kiprusoff on the shelf with a knee injury, Leland Irving is getting a rare chance to strut his stuff and so far he's taking advantage of the opportunity.

The one-time Victoria Salmon King, after taking over from the injured Kipper on Tuesday and helping his team cap off a win over the Red Wings, got his first start of the season on Thursday in Columbus and had a solid outing making 26 saves in a 4-3 overtime victory over the Blue Jackets for his first personal win of the season and the second of his NHL career overall.

Irving may be unfamiliar to the Canucks but he certainly isn't unknown. His first career NHL victory happened to come against the Canucks at Rogers Arena back on December 23, 2011. Irving made 29 saves on 30 shots that night to lead his team to a 3-1 victory.

Game Notes on Canucks.com are written by Daniel Fung. Follow him on Twitter @daniel_fung or e-mail him at dfung_sports@hotmail.com.