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Tale of the Tape: Canucks vs. Red Wings (3.16.13)

Saturday, 16.03.2013 / 12:00 PM / Features
By Daniel Fung
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Tale of the Tape: Canucks vs. Red Wings (3.16.13)

Tonight’s game is presented by Rogers

Team Record: 13-7-6
Last Game: 7-4 W vs Nashville (MAR.14.13)

Season Series: 0-1-0
Last Meeting: 3-8 L (FEB.24.13)
Team Record: 13-10-5
Last Game: 3-2 OT/W at Edmonton (MAR.15.13)

Season Series: 1-0-0
Last Meeting: 8-3 W (FEB.24.13)

Storylines

The Set-Up

The Vancouver Canucks (12-7-6) will don the duds of the Vancouver Millionaires tonight as they pay tribute to the 1915 Stanley Cup champions while hosting the Detroit Red Wings (13-10-5) in a Hockey Night in Canada clash.

What You Need to Know
  • The Canucks come into tonight's game having strung together consecutive wins for the first time in nearly a month. They're looking to extend their win streak to three games for the first time since they had their season-high six-game win streak from January 30 to February 12.
  • The Red Wings are closing out a three-game Western Canada road trip that has seen them go 1-1-0 after the first two outings. They are coming off a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 overtime win last night against Edmonton – a victory that snapped a two-game road losing streak and a three-game overall winless skid (0-2-1).
  • Tonight marks the second of three meetings between the Canucks and Red Wings this season, and the first of two trips to Rogers Arena for Detroit this season. In their first meeting of the season, Detroit handed Vancouver their worst defeat of the season in an 8-3 blowout at the Joe Louis Arena.
  • Red Wings F Damien Brunner leads all players in the season series with four points (2-2-4) while F Daniel Sedin and F Henrik Sedin share the Canucks team lead with two points each.
  • The Canucks have not lost to the Red Wings in regulation at Rogers Arena in five straight games (2-0-3) dating back to March 20, 2010.
  • Canucks G Roberto Luongo will get his third straight start tonight and will be looking to extend his personal win streak to three straight games. He'll also be looking for some revenge against the Red Wings after giving up eight goals on 28 shots back on February 24. Luongo is undefeated in regulation at Rogers Arena this season with a 4-0-2 record.
  • Red Wings G Jimmy Howard will get his second consecutive start tonight and his 24th overall start of the season. He's been particularly stingy lately having surrendered two-or-fewer goals in seven of his last eight starts. The only team to beat Howard more than twice in his last eight outings is the Canucks back on February 24 when they scored three times on 21 shots but still lost that game 8-3.
  • Canucks D Chris Tanev and F Andrew Ebbett both missed practice yesterday but are expected to play tonight.
  • Red Wings D Kyle Quincey joined Detroit's long list of walking wounded yesterday after taking a puck off his cheek. He is out indefinitely and will be replaced in the lineup by either D Ian White or D Kent Huskins.
  • Many will point out the historical link between the Millionaires and the Red Wings franchise dating back to the old PCHA days. The Red Wings, of course, have their roots as the Victoria Cougars – a former PCHA and, later, WHL team that was moved to Detroit when the WHL folded. It's interesting to note, though, that the "Millionaires" never actually played the "Cougars." The Millionaires were renamed the Maroons in 1922 – the same season the Victoria Aristocrats were renamed the Cougars. The Maroons and Cougars competed in the same leagues from 1922 to 1926. The Maroons folded when the WHL did after 1926 but the Cougars, in some ways, still live on in the modern day Red Wings.
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 feed off the hype. It will be a pumped-up atmosphere at Rogers Arena tonight with the game not only on Hockey Night in Canada but the Canucks donning an old-school look by wearing the colours of the Millionaires. All the grandeur surrounding the game ought to get the competitive juices flowing even more than usual.
  • They take advantage of a tired team. The Canucks haven't exactly used opponent fatigue to their benefit this season but there's no better time to start than tonight against a Red Wings team that played last night in Edmonton. They'll want to come out physical and, ideally, build up an early lead on the scoreboard to persuade Detroit to pack it in early.
  • They play a full 60 minutes. Vancouver will not only want a good start in this game but they'll want to make sure their effort level doesn't wane before the final buzzer sounds like it did against Nashville on Thursday. The Canucks nearly let a three-goal, third period lead slip away and they can't afford any late-game lapses tonight against a Red Wings team that is certainly capable of a quick strike offence as they demonstrated yesterday night.


The Red Wings Win If...

  • They come prepared for an onslaught. The Red Wings should figure the Canucks will be a fired up bunch not only because of all the hoopla surrounding tonight's contest but because they'll be out to make amends for their embarrassing showing in the last head-to-head meeting. Detroit will need to be prepared for a fired-up Vancouver squad and will need to find a way to quiet the crowd early.
  • Their special teams pretend they're at home. If you want to know why the Red Wings have managed only four wins in 12 road outings, you need to look no further than their special teams. Their power play has scored just twice on 43 opportunities (4.6 percent) away from the JLA – albeit they have scored power play goals in back-to-back road games – while their penalty kill has allowed 22 goals on 105 times shorthanded (79 percent kill rate).
  • Datsyuk and Zetterberg lead the charge. Detroit's big-two were instrumental in the win against the Canucks back on February 24 combining for one goal and five points – including the eventual game-winner – and they'll need to be strong again tonight. Both have struggled in the goals department lately. Datsyuk snapped an 11-game goal drought last night with his overtime winner against the Oilers but Zetterberg hasn't scored since February 24 against the Canucks which was nine games ago.

Ones to Watch

ZACK KASSIAN

After watching a number of his teammates break out of scoring slumps on Thursday against Nashville, Zack Kassian – as well as every Canucks fan out there - will be hoping that he can do the same tonight facing Detroit.

The 22-year-old forward's point drought is starting to reach epic proportions as he enters tonight's game having failed to get on the scoresheet in 10 straight outings. If he doesn't manage to record a point tonight, he would equal his longest point drought since joining the Canucks at 11 games. Kassian's last point was an assist back on February 21 in Dallas. He has just two assists in his last 18 outings and no goals in 19 straight games.

Kassian will be hoping his second meeting against Detroit this year goes better than his first. In Detroit's 8-3 win over Vancouver back on February 24, he took three minor penalties – two of which resulted in Red Wings goals – and was also caught on the ice for two other Detroit tallies.

DAMIEN BRUNNER

Damien Brunner might not be a household name around most NHL cities but he's certainly made an impression on Canucks fans already.

The 27-year-old forward, who is in his first-season in the NHL after spending the majority of his career playing pro hockey in Switzerland, had a night to remember against the Canucks back on February 24 when he recorded his first career multi-goal and multi-point game finishing that contest with two goals and four points. His production has cooled off since that night, however, as he comes into tonight's game with just three assists in his past nine outings.

Despite the recent slowdown in his production, Brunner has been having an impressive inaugural NHL campaign. He currently leads all Red Wings players with 10 goals and sits in fourth place in overall points with 19.

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.