Canucks game day: Another Silovs start and Lindholm likely to return vs Arizona

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
1 month ago
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The Vancouver Canucks (48-22-8) will try to move one step closer to locking down the Pacific Division title when they play host to the Arizona Coyotes (33-40-5) tonight at Rogers Arena.
With four games remaining, the Canucks enter the night five points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers and have a magic number of four to finish first in the division. Any combination of Vancouver victories or Edmonton regulation losses will secure the Pacific crown. The Canucks will be keeping an eye on the out of town scoreboard with the Oilers at home to Vegas tonight. 
The Canucks held an optional skate this morning. Elias Lindholm took part and is expected to return to the line-up tonight after missing seven games with a wrist injury. Phil Di Giuseppe could draw back in as well as Vasily Podkolzin and Nils Aman stayed out late after the morning skate and worked with skills coaches indicating they will be healthy scratches tonight. 
Casey DeSmith stayed out late as well meaning Arturs Silovs will make back to back starts. Despite giving up a pair of early goals, Silovs battled back and made 20 saves in a 4-3 win over Vegas on Monday night.
Conor Garland scored twice against the Golden Knights including the game winner while Quinn Hughes and Brock Boeser had the other goals. Garland has the last two game winners for the Canucks including last week in Arizona. Boeser’s was his team-leading 40th goal of the season while Hughes has scored four goals in his last four games. JT Miller chipped in with three assists to reach the 100-point mark for the first time in his career.
After spotting Vegas an early 2-0 lead, the Canucks struck for a pair of first period power play goals to tie the game. The Canucks have scored six times with the man-advantage in 19 opportunities (31.6%) over their past six games.
While the power play cashed in, the Canucks also surrendered two power goals to the Golden Knights. They’ve given up two goals while short-handed in back to back games and four times in their last six outings. In all, the Canucks have been torched for nine goals the last 24 times shorthanded (62.5%) in their past six games.
Arizona arrives on the heels of a 5-0 loss in Seattle last night. Despite outshooting the Kraken 39-25, the Coyotes could not solve Philipp Grubbauer. According to Natural Stat Trick, the Coyotes had a 41-15 edge in 5-on-5 scoring chances including a 23-5 advantage in high danger opportunities. It was just the second time all season the Yotes have been shutout and the first since a 1-0 loss to the New York Islanders in their third game of the season.
Clayton Keller leads the Coyotes with 33 goals, 40 assists and 73 points. Rookie Logan Cooley has 18+23=41 and is tied for fourth in goals by first year players and is solo fourth in freshman scoring. The 19-year-old is second only to Conor Bedard among all first year forwards in scoring. Former first rounder Dylan Guenther is celebrating his 21st birthday today.
This will be the 15th straight game the Coyotes have alternated starts for Connor Ingram and Karel Vejmelka. Ingram is expected to get the start tonight after Vejmelka made 20 saves and took the loss in the Emerald City. Ingram shares the NHL lead with six shutouts this season.
The Yotes are 12-21-5 on the road this season and only three teams in the league have fewer road wins. They are playing the third game of a five-game road trip tonight. They have one home game remaining – Game 82 – against Edmonton on April 17th.
The Canucks have taken the first two games in this season series both by 2-1 final scores. They were winners on home ice on January 18th and posted a victory at Mullett Arena in Phoenix last week.
Today’s referees: Chris Schlenker and Pierre Lambert

What we heard

Rick Tocchet on not letting up after big win over Vegas: “We’ve got to be locked in. We had a meeting about it today. You’ve got to be focussed. There is no reason for us not to be focussed tonight. It’s a big game for us and we have to have the same approach we did against Vegas. Straight forward.”
Brock Boeser on reaching 40-goal mark and joining a select group of 40-goal scorers in Canucks franchise history: “It’s an honour. It’s a special moment for me. The next morning I woke up and it was a pretty cool feeling. But I’m still focussed on the team game and continuing to build that.”
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