The stretch run to the playoffs begins tonight with a road game against the struggling Nashville Predators, losers of six straight and dropping like flies to injuries.
The Vancouver Canucks meanwhile, are looking to wrap up the division and the third seed with a comfortable enough lead in the Northwest over Minnesota.
Matchup: Vancouver Canucks (23– 12– 6) v Nashville Predators (15– 20–8)
Venue: Bridgestone Arena
Time: 5:00 pm PT
TV/Radio: Sportsnet, Team 1040
Nashville and Vancouver games usually go one of two ways; insane 6-5 goalfests or 1-0 games that you question why you even watch hockey. Considering the Preds have been shutout in three of their last six games, bet on the latter.
This team is in a tailspin and closer to a lottery pick than a playoff spot.
What to watch: Nashville
You won’t recognize many of them, considering Nashville’s troubles can be directly tied to ongoing rash of injuries. You may recognize rookie Filip Forsberg, traded for Martin Erat at the deadline and who made his NHL debut Sunday by virtue of being a warm healthy body.
Poor Pekka Rinne, whose GAA over the last eight games is 1.87 yet his record is 1-5-2.
- Sergei Kostitsyn-Nick Spaling-Matt Halischuck
- Taylor Beck-David Legwand-Filip Forsberg
- Richard Clune-Austin Watson-Craig Smith
- Daniel Bang-Chris Mueller-Bobby Butler
- Roman Josi-Shea Weber
- Victor Bartly-Jonathon Blum
- Hal Gill-Mattias Ekholm
- Pekka Rinne
What to watch: Vancouver
The Canucks will try to push forward after the gut punch loss to the Avs on Saturday, and will do so with Roberto Luongo between the pipes, leaving their starter for the much better St Louis Blues tomorrow night.
- Daniel Sedin-Henrik Sedin-Jannik Hansen
- Alex Burrows-Derek Roy-Ryan Kesler
- Mason Raymond-Andrew Ebbett-Zack Kassian
- Steve Pinizzotto-Maxim Lapierre-Dale Weise
- Dan Hamhuis-Jason Garrison
- Alex Edler-Kevin Bieksa
- Keith Ballard-Andrew Alberts
- Roberto Luongo
For Nashville…ok here we go. Kevin Klein, Colin Wilson, Paul Gaustad, Gabriel Bourque, Patric Hornqvist, Brandon Yip and Mike Fisher.
1-0 Canucks, allowing Rinne the most ideal stat line and preserving my withering lead in my work hockey pool.