NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, October 22nd
(All times Eastern)
Minnesota Wild (3-2-2) at Vancouver Canucks (3-3-1), 4 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After finding their offense smothered earlier in the week,
Vancouver's most recent effort mirrored the high-scoring attack that helped
get them to the Stanley Cup Finals last spring.
The Canucks hope to keep the offense going this afternoon as they shoot for an
eighth straight home victory over the Minnesota Wild.
Vancouver has put up 40 shots in each of its last two games, but only found
success in one of those outings. The Canucks offense was frustrated in a 4-0
loss to the Rangers on Tuesday, but bounced back two nights later to rout the
The club made sure not to waste its opportunities versus Nashville, getting
first-period goals from Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Dale Weise and Chris
Higgins, with Weise notching the first of his NHL career.
"Out of all the games that he's played, I thought tonight was his best one,"
Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault said about Weise.
Daniel Sedin added two assists, Henrik had one helper and Roberto Luongo
finished with 25 saves to help Vancouver win for the second time in three
"We put together a full 60 [minutes] tonight and that's something we've been
working on and wanted to do, and we were throwing a lot of pucks on net and we
got rewarded," said Ryan Kesler, who scored in the third period.
The Canucks won four of six over the Wild a season ago, taking all three
meetings to run their home winning streak in this series to seven straight.
Vancouver has won 13 of the last 18 matchups overall.
The Wild will be looking to build off an improbable 2-1 victory over the
Oilers on Thursday. Seemingly on their way to a shutout loss, Dany Heatley
instead scored with 1.2 seconds left to force overtime and Matt Cullen had the
game-winner in the first round of the shootout.
Niklas Backstrom made 30 saves as Minnesota snapped a two-game slide and has
notched a point in four of its last five games (2-1-2).
"Certainly to snatch two points from the jaws of defeat, it was a pretty good
feeling," said Wild head coach Mike Yeo. "It was a good feeling on the bench
even, through the course of the third period I was really pleased with our
guys and their willingness to stick with it and keep battling.
"I was happy to see Dany Heatley get that goal because he was one of those
guys at the forefront. It was like he was refusing to lose that game tonight."
The game-tying goal came after Devin Setoguchi fired a shot that hit the
outside of the net. Pierre-Marc Bouchard then gathered the disc and made a
backhanded pass before Heatley snuck the puck between the legs of Edmonton
goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.
"Usually those plays don't really work," said Heatley, whose goal came with
Backstrom pulled for an extra attacker. "We had a lot of time in their end,
just kind of scrambling and buzzing and finally found a way to put one in."
Heatley's goal was his second of the season and first since Oct. 8,
Minnesota's season opener.
10/22 10:32:26 ET