Scenes from morning skate: Joshua on the shelf for Canucks’ rematch with the Red Wings

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
4 months ago
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The Vancouver Canucks (36-12-6) are in for a rematch with the Detroit Red Wings (27-19-6). The Canucks let a 3-1 third period lead get away and fell 4-3 in overtime in a spirited game in Motown on Saturday.
Since then, however, the Canucks have responded with wins in Washington and Chicago and are back home for a pair of games starting tonight. They’ll have to get by tonight without Dakota Joshua who was injured in the team’s last game in Chicago on Tuesday.

What we saw

Dakota Joshua will miss his second game of the season after getting injured late in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over the Blackhawks. It’s believed the big winger hurt his hand in a third period scrap with MacKenzie Entwhistle. Joshua had a goal and two assists before the fight which occurred with just 3:52 remaining in the game. Joshua is being seen by Canucks doctors later today. There is no timeline on further information on the extent of his injury. Ilya Mikheyev is expected to slot into Joshua’s spot on a line with Teddy Blueger and Conor Garland. Mikheyev has gone 21 games without a goal. 
Garland had his second two-goal game of the season on Tuesday. He has scored in back to back games and has five goals in his past nine outings. Nils Höglander has scored in three straight games since getting promoted to the team’s top six. Like Garland, he, too, has five goals in his last nine contests. With Joshua out of the line-up, Höglander took shifts on the second power play unit at this morning’s skate. 
Tonight is Elias Lindholm’s first home game since being acquired from Calgary over the All Star break. Lindholm will start the game at centre between Elias Pettersson and Nils Höglander. He has 2+1=3 in his first five games as a Canuck. Rick Tocchet said this morning he wants to have a longer look at Lindholm as a centre.
Thatcher Demko is making his 40th start of the season looking for his 30th victory. He had the day off in Detroit on Saturday. It was the only game of the road trip that he did not play.
Defenceman Nikita Zadorov will return to the line-up after serving his two-game suspension for a check to the head of the Wings Lucas Raymond on Saturday.
Tonight marks the start of a stretch of the schedule that will see the Canucks play 17 of their remaining 28 games on home ice. They are 5-0-1 in their last six at home and 10-1-1 in their last 12. 
The Red Wings are here looking to bounce back from an 8-4 loss in Edmonton to start their road trip on Tuesday. The game was tied 3-3 after 40 minutes before the bottom fell out on the Wings. Connor McDavid set a career high with six assists in the game. Alex Debrincat, Patrick Kane, Joe Veleno and David Perron scored the Detroit goals. 
Ville Husso got the start in net but was injured early and had to leave the game. Alex Lyon played the final 51 minutes, allowed seven goals and took the loss. Lyon has started 15 of the last 17 Red Wings games.
The Wings have been on a good run of late going 10-3-2 in their last 15 games. That includes Saturday’s victory over the Canucks when Jake Walman scored the winner on a penalty shot 23 seconds into overtime.
Dylan Larkin leads Detroit in goals and points with 23+34=47. With Veleno’s goal in Edmonton, the Wings now have 11 double-digit goal scorers on the season.
The Red Wings head into action tonight holding down the second wild card spot in the East. They are two points back of Toronto and two in front of the New Jersey Devils.
Tonight’s referees: Brandon Schraeder and Eric Furlatt

What we heard

Rick Tocchet on Elias Lindholm still settling into Canucks line-up: “I’ve been kind of bouncing him around so it’s a little bit on me. It’s my job to get him settled in. I’ve wanted to try a few different things. I like him at centre so I think we’ll try him at centre tonight. I’d like to see him at centre for a little bit.”
Conor Garland on getting by without Dakota Joshua: “It’s a big loss for our line. He’s a massive presence. He holds on to pucks. It’ll be tough without him. Whoever is with us, just play simple. We’re a pretty simple line and it should be pretty easy to blend in with.”
Nikita Zadorov on sitting out the past two games: “It was a bad hit. I definitely deserved a suspension. I’ve been a clean player the past 11 years, trying my best playing physical hockey. I knew it was going to happen at some point. Excited to get back. The boys played well without me and hopefully they play even better with me.”


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