NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, December 10th
(All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (15-10-3) at Vancouver Canucks (16-14-0), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks begin a season-long eight-game
homestand tonight with a visit by the Atlanta Thrashers to GM Place.
The extended stay could help the Canucks make up some ground in the Northwest
Division. They are 10-4-0 at home this year and are eight points back of
second-place Colorado in the standings.
Vancouver returns home after a 2-2-0 road trip. It won the first two contests
of the swing before dropping the final two, including Tuesday's 4-2 setback in
Nashville. Three days after Carolina's Erik Cole notched a hat trick in the
Hurricanes' 5-3 defeat of Vancouver, the Predators' Martin Erat tallied three
goals to hand the Canucks a loss that dropped them to 6-10-0 on the road.
Ryan Kesler, who came into the game with 12 assists in 14 games, notched his
first goal since November 1 for the Canucks, while Daniel Sedin also scored.
Henrik Sedin notched his fourth straight two-assist game, while Roberto Luongo
ended with 22 saves.
"It'll be nice to be home," said Vancouver's Tanner Glass on the team's
official Web site. "We know what the schedule is like this year with a lot of
extended road trips, so we've got to make some hay on these homestands and
it'll be nice to be home for a while."
The Thrashers wrap a four-game road trip tonight and after winning the first
contest of the swing in Florida, they have dropped two straight in Canada.
Atlanta was dealt a 5-2 loss by Toronto on Monday before last night's 3-1
setback to Calgary.
Colby Armstrong provided the lone tally for the Thrashers, who have lost two
in a row and three of four since a four-game win streak. Johan Hedberg was
solid in defeat, yielding just two goals on 31 shots.
"We're just one of those teams that like to make the perfect play, and
sometimes it's not there," said Atlanta head coach John Anderson.
The Thrashers fell to 9-4-1 as the guest this year.
Atlanta's Evander Kane hopes to return to the lineup tonight after missing
Wednesday's game due to illness. The Vancouver-born fourth overall pick of the
2009 draft has eight goals and five assists this season.
Atlanta won the last meeting between these clubs, a 4-3 shootout tally at home
on January 2, but the Canucks were a 3-2 winner the last time the teams met in
Vancouver on February 10, 2007.
12/10 10:28:45 ET