Game Day: Not yet a must-win, but it's close for Canucks minus Burrows

 

Needing a victory in Game 4 to even series with Flames, Vancouver loses feisty winger to injury

 
 
 
 
David Jones of the Calgary Flames mixes it up with Alex Burrows (right) of the Vancouver Canucks during Game 3 of their first-round playoff series on Sunday. Burrows will miss Tuesday's Game 4 with an upper body injury.
 

David Jones of the Calgary Flames mixes it up with Alex Burrows (right) of the Vancouver Canucks during Game 3 of their first-round playoff series on Sunday. Burrows will miss Tuesday's Game 4 with an upper body injury.

Photograph by: Derek Leung, Getty Images

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CALGARY — The way defenceman Kevin Bieksa has it figured, the Vancouver Canucks have the Calgary Flames right where they want them.

"I think they're probably feeling pretty good about themselves right now, so that is great for us," Bieksa says of the Flames, who tonight take a 2-1 lead into Game 4 of the best-of-seven Stanley Cup playoff series (7 p.m., PT, on CBC, TSN 1040).

"We'll come in and play a nice, solid road game, hopefully get the two points and then momentum will be on our side going back home."

Sounds simple, doesn't it?

Bieksa made his comments before winger Alex Burrows was felled by injury. Burrows suffered an upper-body injury and was transferred by ambulance to a Calgary hospital for what the team said were precautionary reasons.

TVA is reporting that Burrows suffered a broken rib.

That leaves the Canucks with a significant hole to fill on their top line. With Burrows out, it seems likely that Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins will reunite Radim Vrabta with Henrik and Daniel Sedin.

Vrbata, Vancouver's leading goal-scorer in the regular season, has struggled in this series.

Before Burrows was injured, the Canucks recalled winger Sven Baertschi from their AHL affiliate in Utica. Baertschi, who was acquired from the Flames for a second-round pick at last month's trade deadline, could play on Vancouver's second line tonight with Chris Higgins and Nick Bonino.

"He has got real good skill, he has good speed, a real good shot," Desjardins said of Baertschi.

But Sportsnet’s John Shannon reported late this afternoon that Linden Vey, a healthy scratch in the first three games, would replace Burrows in the Vancouver lineup.

This a game the Canucks desperately need. It's not a must-win, but it's close.

Lose tonight and the Canucks will head home for Game 5 Thursday at Rogers Arena facing elimination. Win tonight and they even the series and regain home-ice advantage.

The Canucks had real trouble in Sunday’s 4-2 loss in Game 3 handling Calgary's aggressive forecheck. The Vancouver defence coughed up pucks all night.

"We just have to make sure the forwards are getting back to help the D get the puck out of the zone and getting pucks in deep and getting in on our own forecheck like we were in Game 2," said Vancouver winger Derek Dorsett.

Vrbata, who was guilty of not getting the puck out of the zone on one of Calgary's goals on Sunday, said the Canucks should not be afraid to ice the puck if they are under immense pressure in their end.

"I think if you start going like that, take an icing," Vrbata said. "That's the easiest way, just regroup and don't look for perfect play. If you start feeling like the shift is going sideways, maybe you kill it with the icing."

The Flames are expected to ice the same lineup as Game 3.

"It is the first team that wins four," said Calgary coach Bob Hartley. "We did part of the job going to Vancouver to get Game 1, so technically for what it's worth right now we have home-ice advantage. It's up to us to use it. If we win tonight, then we are using it. If we lose tonight, now we are starting a best-of-three. This is a pivotal game for both teams."

bziemer@vancouversun.com

Twitter/bradziemer

 
 
 
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David Jones of the Calgary Flames mixes it up with Alex Burrows (right) of the Vancouver Canucks during Game 3 of their first-round playoff series on Sunday. Burrows will miss Tuesday's Game 4 with an upper body injury.
 

David Jones of the Calgary Flames mixes it up with Alex Burrows (right) of the Vancouver Canucks during Game 3 of their first-round playoff series on Sunday. Burrows will miss Tuesday's Game 4 with an upper body injury.

Photograph by: Derek Leung, Getty Images

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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