Tale of the Tape: Canucks vs. Coyotes (2.26.13)

Tuesday, 26.02.2013 / 12:00 PM / Features
By Daniel Fung
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Tale of the Tape: Canucks vs. Coyotes (2.26.13)

Tonight’s game is presented by Save On Foods

Team Record: 10-4-4
Last Game: 3-8 L at Detroit (FEB.24.13)

Season Series: 0-0-0
Last Meeting: 4-5 L (MAR.14.12)
Team Record: 8-7-3
Last Game: 4-5 L at Calgary (FEB.24.13)

Season Series: 0-0-0
Last Meeting: 5-4 W (MAR.14.12)

Storylines

The Set-Up

The Vancouver Canucks (10-4-4), looking to bounce back from an embarrassing loss on Sunday to Detroit, will open a short two-game home stand tonight facing Shane Doan and the Phoenix Coyotes (8-7-3).

What You Need to Know
  • The Canucks, coming off a 2-1-1 road trip, will open a short two-game home stand tonight. They have rare three-day break after tonight's tilt before they conclude the home stand on Saturday with a visit from the defending Stanley Cup champion LA Kings.
  • The Coyotes are wrapping up their three-game Western Canada road swing and are still seeking their first win of the trip. They dropped a 3-2 shootout decision in Edmonton on Saturday and a 5-4 regulation decision in Calgary on Sunday.
  • Vancouver is winless in their last two home games (0-1-1) and are 5-2-2 overall on home ice this season. Phoenix is tied for the fewest road wins this season with just two (2-4-2).
  • The Canucks and Coyotes split their season series last year with each team winning twice, including once each at Rogers Arena.
  • The Coyotes have emerged victorious in three of their last four trips to Vancouver going 3-0-1 in their last four visits to Rogers Arena. Their lone loss in their last four visits to Vancouver came in a shootout last season.
  • Canucks F Ryan Kesler (2-2-4) and now ex-Coyotes F Ray Whitney (1-3-4) shared the lead in the points during last year's season series.
  • Canucks G Cory Schneider and G Roberto Luongo each had two starts in last year's season series against the Coyotes. Schneider, however, had by far the better numbers posting a 1-0-1 record and only allowing just one goal on 57 shots faced in his two outings for a 0.48 GAA and .982 save percentage.
  • Coyotes G Mike Smith earned both of the Coyotes win in last year's season series for his squad although his numbers aren't quite as gaudy as Schneider's. He gave up 10 goals on 120 shots over his three starts for a 3.25 GAA and a .917 save percentage.
  • The eight goals the Canucks surrendered to Detroit on Sunday is the most they've given up in a single game since Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston – an 8-1 loss. The last time they gave up that many goals in a regulation game was back on April 1, 2010 in an 8-3 road loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
  • Six of F Daniel Sedin's team-leading seven goals have come in first periods. No other Canuck has more than two first period markers.
Follow the Action

TTonight's game faces off at 7 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 bounce back from Sunday's stinker. There are few better motivators than coming off an embarrassing loss. Vancouver ought to be fired up after being humbled by the Red Wings on Sunday.
  • They don't look ahead to Saturday. The defending Stanley Cup champions, LA Kings, are in town this weekend for the first time since eliminating the Canucks from last year's playoffs. That being said, that game is still four days away and the Canucks can’t afford to look past the Coyotes tonight even though they might be tempted to.
  • They can keep up in a run-and-gun game. If this game becomes an offensive slugfest, the Canucks need to be able to find a way to counter goals with more goals. They have only one win this season (1-4-2) when allowing three-or-more goals by the opposition.


The Coyotes Win If...

  • They rebound from their own poor outing last time out. Like the Canucks, the Coyotes are coming off a loss as well although theirs was more heartbreaking than humiliating. Phoenix surrendered two goals in the last 1:23 of regulation to fall 5-4 in Calgary on Sunday.
  • They continue getting scoring up and down their roster. The Coyotes have managed to spread the offence around quite successfully this season which bodes well for them since they may be without Hanzal and Vrbata tonight. Behind Hanzal's team-leading seven goals, there is a seven-way tie for second place in goal scoring on the team. All seven of those players, which includes Vrbata, are forwards.
  • They get back to dominating third periods. Third periods have not been kind to the Coyotes on their current road trip – they've been out-scored by a combined 3-2 and have given up either the game-tying goal or the game-winning goal – but prior to that the third period was a source of strength. Almost half (22 of 47) of their goals this season have come in the final 20 minutes of regulation. They're facing a Canucks team that is near the bottom of the league in third period goals scored with just 13.

Ones to Watch

JASON GARRISON

With Kevin Bieksa currently sidelined with a groin injury, one of the blue-liners that the Canucks will be counted on to step up in his absence is Jason Garrison. For Garrison, that means not having too many performances like the one he had in Detroit on Sunday.

Vancouver's prized off-season free agent acquisition, like many of his teammates, had a night to forget at the Joe Louis Arena two days ago. The 28-year-old native of White Rock was caught on the ice for four Red Wings goals while, at the other end of the ice, he failed to record a shot on goal for just the fourth time in 18 games this season.

Garrison will look to rebound tonight ideally by getting back on the scoresheet. He's gone point-less in his last two outings since scoring his second goal as a Canuck five nights ago in Dallas. Tonight will be just his fourth career game against the Coyotes. He has one assist in three previous career outings versus Phoenix.

SHANE DOAN

For the first time this season, Shane Doan will have a chance to see what could have been as he will face the team he very nearly joined this past off-season.

Doan, who is now in his ninth season as captain of the Coyotes, was heavily pursued by the Canucks in free agency but ultimately chose to re-ink with the only franchise he has ever played for in his NHL career.

His decision to stay in the desert means he can continue to make his way up the list of several franchise records. Already the franchise leader in games played, he's just one goal away from tying Keith Tkachuk (323) for second-place on the franchise all-time goals list while he's only three points shy of becoming the third Coyote/Jet to reach the 800-point mark.

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.