The Canucks are trying to bounce back from a 4-2 loss to Dallas on Thursday night. That leaves the Canucks with just one win in their last six games (1-4-1) and with just two wins in their past eight (2-4-2). Jake Virtanen and Troy Stecher had the Vancouver goals while Jacob Markstrom stopped 25 of the 29 shots he faced. Virtanen has now scored all six of his goals this season in the past 12 games. He shares the team lead with Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser over that span.
On a throwback night when the Canucks will wear their black Flying Skate jerseys,Thatcher Demko gets the start in goal. Born a year after the Canucks run to the 1994 Stanley Cup Final, Demko made 34 saves in a 5-3 win over Nashville on Tuesday establishing a career-high with his fifth victory of the season. He is now 5-2 with a 2.13 GAA and a 93.1% save percentage. Going back to late last season, Demko is 8-3-1 in his last 12 NHL starts.
The team will go with the same 18 skaters used in Thursday’s loss. JT Miller was on left wing with Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser at this morning’s skate indicating a return to the top line is likely. The Canucks need to get their captain going. Jay Beagle (lower body) will miss a third straight game, but skated on his own prior to the team this morning and Travis Green said Beagle is likely to be ready for the start of the team’s six game road trip.
Bo Horvat has gone O for November without a goal in eight games this month and his lone marker in the last 11 games was on the power play in Los Angeles on October 30th.
For the 13th time in their first 20 games, the Canucks surrendered the game’s opening goal.
Today is Tim Schaller’s 29th birthday.
As for the Hughes versus Makar match-up tonight, the Canucks blueliner has 2+10=12 on the season, but has just 1+1=2 in his last seven outings. Makar, meanwhile, has a five point cushion on all NHL rookies with 5+13=18 in 19 games this season. The 20-year-old Hughes has the league-lead among freshmen with nine power play points so far one better than 21-year-old Makar.
The Avs arrive in town after a 6-2 loss in Edmonton on Thursday. That put an end to Colorado’s three-game win streak. The team simply had no answer for Connor McDavid who had 3+3=6 while Leon Draisaitl had five assists.
Two nights after recording a victory in his NHL debut in Winnipeg, Adam Werner lasted 28:21 and was given the hook after allowing five goals on 18 Oiler shots. Werner was replaced by Antoine Bibeau who made his first NHL appearance since December 29, 2016 when he was with Toronto. Werner has appeared in the Avs past two games, but has yet to play a full game in the NHL. He came on in relief against the Jets and didn’t make it through the game in Edmonton. Bibeau gets the start tonight.
The Avs are testing their organizational goaltending depth with injuries to both Philip Grubauer (lower body) and Pavel Francouz (concussion). Vegas is the only other team in the league that has used four goalies so far this season.
Andre Burakovsky scored both Colorado goals in Edmonton giving him seven on the season. Nazem Kadri carries a four game point streak into action tonight (1+4=5).
Nathan MacKinnon leads the Avs with 11 goals and 26 points putting him seventh in NHL scoring. With 95 shots, he is second only to Alex Ovechkin in that category.
As a team, Colorado is tied with Nashville and Boston for third in overall offense with 68 goals this season and the Avs have done it in large part without their second and third leading scorers from last season. Mikko Rantanen had 31+56=87 and has missed 10 games with a lower body injury while captain Gabriel Landeskog had 34+41=75 and has missed the past eight games with a lower body issue. The Avalanche are also without forward Colin Wilson (lower body) and Tyson Jost is day to day with an upper body injury.
Former Canuck Jayson Megna is on the Colorado roster and has appeared in five games so far this season. His last NHL goal came as a member of the Canucks in Columbus on February 9, 2017.
POSSIBLE CANUCKS LINE-UP
POSSIBLE AVS LINE-UP