Everything’s BIGGER in Texas
The Vancouver Canucks take on the Dallas Stars tonight in Texas in their first game back since having the team’s eight-game unbeaten streak snapped in Minnesota.
The Canucks lead the Wild twice on Tuesday but failed to close it out, taking home the loser point in the shootout.
Look for a disciplined road game from the Canucks tonight after allowing the extra point to get away in Minnesota. Below are five keys to tonight’s contest between the Canucks and Stars.
David Booth has elevated his play since returning from an AHL conditioning stint in Utica, and recently his effort has begun to pay off in the form of back-to-back goals against the Bruins and Wild.
As Cam Charron pointed out over at Canucks.com Booth’s shot totals have begun to resemble his career averages, however his game still needs work in order for him to return as the 20-goal scorer the Canucks first believed he would be.
Look for Booth to bring it again tonight in Dallas.
A big part of Vancouver’s recent winning streak has been the solid play of Roberto Luongo. With the Sochi Olympics right around the corner Luongo has elevated his play to international standards, putting up a .958 save percentage over his last six games including a shutout over the Oilers.
Look for Luongo to be solid again tonight after earning his first loss in seven starts Tuesday in Minnesota.
Second Line Studs
The Canucks have lived and died with the play of the Sedin twins in years past, however this season the trio of Ryan Kesler, Chris Higgins, and Mike Santorelli have spent plenty of time carrying the team.
Vancouver’s second line has combined for 10 goals and 14 assists over eight games so far this month, giving the team an added dynamic after the twins attract the opposition’s best defenders.
Look for Kesler, Higgins, and Santorelli to expose the Stars again tonight.
Kari Lehtonen is expected to start for the Dallas Stars tonight after watching backup Dan Ellis take two points from the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday. Lehtonen has been struggling for the Stars lately but has had Vancouver’s number over recent years, allowing only two goals on his last 81 shots faced.
Look for Lehtonen to bounce back after being given a vote of confidence by head coach Lindy Ruff.
Off-season acquisition Tyler Seguin continues to impress in Dallas, leading the team with 18 goals and 15 assists over 33 games played so far this season. A streaky scorer, Seguin has 6 goals and 4 assists over his last six games, however he has been held pointless in three of those same contests.
Look for Seguin to break out or fade away tonight against the Canucks.