NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Saturday, October 18th
(All times eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (2-2-0-0) at Minnesota Wild (1-3-0-0), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks will try to gain a measure of
revenge tonight when they faceoff with the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy
Center in the first meeting between the two teams since last year's Stanley
Minnesota stunned the Canucks last spring in Game 7 of the second-round
series, after it had fallen behind three games to one.
This season, though, the Wild have just one win through their first four games
following their 5-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday. Darby
Hendrickson and Alexandre Daigle tallied for the Wild, who got 26 saves
between the pipes from Manny Fernandez in the setback.
Daigle's tally came on the power-play, where the Wild had failed to score in
their 12 chances entering the game.
Minnesota almost made things interesting in the final period. After
Hendrickson made it a two-goal game, the Wild had a chance with the extra
skater when Bates Battaglia was sent to the penalty box for hooking. However,
Minnesota failed to capitalize and Teemu Selanne eventually made it a three-
goal game on a breakaway with just over three and a half minutes to play.
Vancouver, meanwhile, suffered its second straight loss on Thursday when it
was upended 3-2 in dramatic fashion by the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis
Marek Malik posted a goal in this game, as did Markus Naslund, but the Canucks
still evened their record with two wins and two losses on the season. Dan
Cloutier had a fine performance in net for the Canucks, but his 28 saves on 31
shots were one too few.
The winning goal came when Pavel Datsyuk jumped on a puck going toward the
boards behind Cloutier and centered it for defenseman Mathieu Schneider.
Schneider couldn't handle the pass, but Ray Whitney swooped in behind him and
put it past a confused Cloutier with just 1:06 remaining in regulation .
Minnesota is unbeaten (2-0-1) in its last three against the Canucks after
losing the previous four meetings. Vancouver, though, is 7-5-2 in the last 14
matchups and is 4-2-1 in its last seven trips to Minnesota.
10/18 10:30:31 ET