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Canucks game day: Matinee in Minnesota to kick off three-game road trip

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Photo credit:© Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
1 month ago
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The Vancouver Canucks open a quick three game road trip with a matinee in Minnesota when they face the Wild in an 11am Pacific time puck drop. The President’s Day holiday in the United States is the reason for the early start.
The Canucks will be looking to rebound from a 4-2 loss to Winnipeg on Saturday. Noah Juulsen and Tyler Myers scored the Vancouver goals. The Canucks remain atop the overall standings, but have won five of their last nine games (5-2-2) and are 4-2-1 in seven games since the All Star break.
Many of the players that represented the team at the All Star weekend in Toronto have struggled to find their offensive form since the break. Brock Boeser has gone seven games without a goal, JT Miller has gone seven games without an assist, Elias Pettersson has one goal in his last seven games and Quinn Hughes has just two assists in his last six games.
One of the biggest issues right now is a power play that is 0 for its last 19 over the past six games. The Canucks haven’t scored with the man-advantage since Elias Lindholm netted a pair of goals in a 3-2 win in Carolina on February 6th. The Canucks generated 11 shots on goal on four power play opportunities against Winnipeg, but could not find the back of the net.
The Canucks allowed a pair of power play goals against Winnipeg. That was the first time they had surrendered multiple goals while short-handed since December 17th in Chicago. The penalty kill has been strong of late, but it’s also been busy. The Canucks have been short-handed 13 times in the past three games and 19 times over the last five outings.
Casey DeSmith is expected to get the start in goal. DeSmith is 1-0-1 against the Wild this season allowing one goal in the two games. He posted a 26-save shutout on December 7th at Rogers Arena and fell 2-1 in a shootout in the team’s last visit to Xcel Energy Center on December 16th. Lifetime, DeSmith is 5-0-1 against the Wild.
The Wild let a point get away on Saturday falling 3-2 in overtime at home to Buffalo. Minnesota had a 2-1 lead in the final minute of regulation time before the Sabres tied the game with 37 remaining and then won it 1:29 into OT.
Joel Erkisson-Ek scored his team leading 25th goal while defenceman Declan Chisholm collected his first NHL marker in his first game with the Wild. He played four NHL games with Winnipeg over the past two seasons. Kirill Kaprizov leads the Wild in scoring with 20+31=51. He became the fourth player in franchise history to have four 50-point seasons joining Mikko Koivu, Marian Gaborik and Zach Parise.
The Wild has the second and third highest-scoring rookies in the NHL this season. Brock Faber has 4+29=33 while leading all first year players logging 25:05 per game while Marco Rossi has 14+16=30.
Minnesota enters today’s game four points out of a wild card spot in the Western Conference. The loss to the Sabres snapped a four-game win streak leaving the Wild 4-0-1 in its last five outings and 7-2-1 in its last 10 games.
After today’s game, the Canucks will face the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Tuesday and the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena on Thursday.

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