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Tale of the Tape: Canucks @ Red Wings (2.24.13)

Sunday, 24.02.2013 / 10:50 AM / Features
By Daniel Fung
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Tale of the Tape: Canucks @ Red Wings (2.24.13)
Team Record: 10-3-4
Last Game: 1-0 W at Nashville (FEB.22.13)

Season Series: 0-0-0
Last Meeting: 4-3 SO/W (FEB.23.12)
Team Record: 8-7-3
Last Game: 4-0 W vs Nashville (FEB.23.13)

Season Series: 0-0-0
Last Meeting: 3-4 SO/L (FEB.23.12)

Storylines

The Set-Up

The Vancouver Canucks (10-3-4) will wrap up their four-game road trip with a rare afternoon tilt against the Detroit Red Wings (8-7-3) at the Joe Louis Arena.

What You Need to Know
  • The Canucks will conclude their four-game road trip this afternoon having gone 2-0-1 in the first three games. They're looking to extend their road win streak to three straight games which would be a season-high.
  • The Red Wings snapped a season-high five-game winless skid (0-3-2) last night with their 4-0 win over Nashville.
  • This afternoon marks the first and only trip the Canucks will make this season to the Joe Louis Arena. It is also the first of three meetings between the Canucks and Red Wings this season.
  • The Canucks and Red Wings split their season series last year with each team picking up two victories, including one each at the JLA.
  • Canucks G Roberto Luongo started three of the four games in last year's season series versus Detroit and finished with a 2-0-1 record. Luongo is unbeaten in regulation in his last nine games (5-0-4) against the Red Wings dating back to March 3, 2010.
  • Don't be surprised if Red Wings G Jimmy Howard gets the start this afternoon despite playing yesterday. He's started all-but-two of the team's 18 games this season. He started all four games against the Canucks in the season series last year going 2-1-1 with a 2.42 GAA and .915 save percentage with one shutout.
  • Canucks F Henrik Sedin led all Vancouver players with four points, all assists, in last year's season series against Detroit. Currently injured Red Wings F Darren Helm had five points (1-4-5) to lead all players in the season series.
  • The Canucks lost D Kevin Bieksa in the second period of Friday's win over Nashville to a groin injury. If he's unable to go this afternoon, then D Andrew Alberts will make his season debut in his place. Vancouver has played its top-six defensemen in every single game so far this season.
  • The Red Wings are 1-2-0 this season when playing on zero days rest.
  • The Canucks last game against the Red Wings, also their last game at the Joe Louis Arena, was indeed a memorable one. Daniel Sedin scored his second of two goals on the night with 15.4 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and Alex Burrows notched the shootout's only marker to lift the Canucks to a 4-3 win while snapping Detroit's NHL-record 23-game home ice win streak.
Follow the Action

Today's game faces off at 2 pm PT and can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific. 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 have success on the man-advantage. Despite coming up 0-for-2 in Nashville, Vancouver's power play has been on a roll lately and they'll need to use that to their advantage facing a Red Wings PK that is among the worst in the league this season.
  • They shut down Detroit's power play. The Red Wings' man-advantage has been abysmal for the most part this season but when they do get success, it's been at the JLA. All 11 of their power play goals this season have come on home ice where they are 11-for-52. Detroit has scored a power play goal in nine of 11 home games this season.
  • The Michigan boys step up. Playing in their home state ought to be a motivating factor for Ryan Kesler (Livonia) and David Booth (Detroit). If those two are at their best, the rest of the Canucks should follow suit.


The Red Wings Win If...

  • They feed off yesterday's win. The Red Wings are coming off their most lopsided win of the season – a victory that also helped them a snap a lengthy winless streak. It's a type of performance that can be a catalyst for a streak in the positive direction if they can keep that momentum up.
  • They play run-and-gun hockey. The Red Wings shouldn't be shy about opening the game up considering their success in high-scoring affairs. Detroit is 81-4-4 in last 89 games they've scored four or more goals.
  • The big-two lead the way. Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have easily been Detroit's top two players this season but you couldn't make the claim last year in the season series against the Canucks. The pair managed to combine for just a single assist. Clearly they need to be more prolific if they want to have success versus Vancouver.

Ones to Watch

RYAN KESLER

Getting a chance to play against the team from your home state and the team you grew up watching is always a significant event and, for Ryan Kesler, it's clear he relishes that opportunity to line up against the Red Wings any chance he gets.

Not only does the Livonia, Michigan-native have seven goals and 20 points in 26 career games versus the Red Wings, his game seems to step up another notch whenever he enters the home of the Red Wings. He has a five-game point streak at the Joe Louis Arena dating back to the 2009-10 season, netting two goals and eight points during that stretch, and has a 10 points in 13 games played overall at the JLA.

Kesler will look to make it six straight games with a point today at the JLA when he leads his team into this afternoon's road trip finale. He's coming off a rare point-less outing on Friday in Nashville. Last season Kesler had one goal and one assist in three games played versus Detroit.

HENRIK ZETTERBERG

If there was any question whether last season's offensive struggles for Henrik Zetterberg was just an aberration, the 32-year-old Swede has certainly closed the debate on that with his play so far this season.

Zetterberg, whose 69 points last season was his second-lowest single-season total since the 2004.05 lockout, is clearly on top of his game right now even though the rest of his team might not be. The 2008 Conn Smythe Trophy winner leads the team in points with 22 (5-17-22) and has been a model of consistency netting at least one point in 13 of 18 games played this season.

Zetterberg, who was named the 36th captain in Red Wings franchise history just prior to the start of this season, had a three-game point streak snapped yesterday and will be looking to start a new streak today. He has 10 goals and 23 points in 34 career games versus Vancouver although he was held point-less in all four games of the season series last year.

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.