Vancouver Canucks winger Mason Raymond is chased by Calgary Flames winger Alex Tanguay during an NHL game last season at Rogers Arena. The two teams renew their rivalry tonight at Rogers Arena, with both sides looking for their first win of the shortened 2012-13 season.
Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann, PNG
VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames are both winless after two games, so something will have to give tonight when they butt heads at Rogers Arena (7 p.m., Sportsnet Pacific, Team 1040).
The Canucks, in fact, are lugging a five-game losing streak on home ice dating back to last spring's playoff loss to the L.A. Kings when they dropped all three at Rogers. While every season is different, the Canucks’ core is almost identical with the exception of defenceman Jason Garrison. So what's happening to that thing called home-ice advantage?
“I haven't even thought about that and normally I like to over-think things sometimes,” said Canucks forward Alex Burrows when queried about the home-ice woes. “The odds are in our favour, for sure. We'll probably get it done tonight.”
The Canucks will have one new face in the lineup as 22-year-old Jordan Schroeder, the team's first pick in the 2009 entry draft, will make his NHL debut centring a new-look third line with left-winger Mason Raymond and right-winger Dale Weise. Schroeder will take veteran Andrew Ebbett's spot in the lineup.
Burrows will centre the second unit between Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen while Zack Kassian will start with the Sedin twins.
Goalie Cory Schneider will attempt to rebound from his first-game nightmare and he told reporters following the morning skate it's time for some urgency, even though it's just Game 3 of the shortened season.
“You can't hope things are going to click here in five or 10 games,” Schneider commented. “We have to get on this now and get in the win column so tonight is a very important game. Calgary has some veteran skill guys who have always produced so you can't sleep on this team at all. They can go off for four or five goals on any given night.”
The Flames’ lines are expected to look this way (from left to right): Mike Cammalleri-Mikael Backlund-Jarome Iginla; Curtis Glencross-Alex Tanguay-Lee Stempniak; Sven Baertschi-Matt Stajan-Blake Comeau: and Steve Begin-Blair Jones-Tim Jackman.
Their defensive pairings are most likely to be: Mark Giordano-Jay Bouwmeester; T.J. Brodie-Dennis Wideman; and Derek Smith-Cory Sarich. Bouwmeester is already minus-4.
The Flames coaching staff is all new with head man Bob Hartley and assistants Martin Gelinas and Jacques Cloutier. It's a first coaching gig of any kind for Gelinas, the ex-Canuck who was a member of the 1994 team that lost to the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final.
“Bob Hartley is a good teacher and he's taken me under his wing,” Gelinas said. “It's been a good fit so far. I enjoy being around the guys and giving my input. But we have to start winning now. That's the name of the game.”
ICE CHIPS: The Flames are 3-for-6 on the power play in the early going while the Canucks are 2-for-9 ... Tonight's referees are Stephen Walkom and Ian Walsh ... Flames who have moved on since last season include D Scott Hannan, C Olli Jokinen, RW David Moss and RW Tom Kostopoulos.
INJURIES: The Canucks will be without forwards Ryan Kesler (shoulder, wrist) and David Booth (groin). The Flames will be minus new forwards Jiri Hudler (bereavement leave) and Roman Cervenka (blood clot) and D Anton Babchuk (shoulder).
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