Tonight at Rogers Arena the Vancouver Canucks will rekindle a flame that had experienced so much success over the years. That flame was sparked by the Sedins and Alex Burrows, a trio that Canuck nation has become accustomed to from previous years. Tonight the Canucks will reunite the three in hopes of spreading the offence to the struggling second line.
John Tavares and the New York Islanders are in town to take on the Canucks in a rare match between the two clubs. Eddie Lack celebrated his 27th birthday and will get the start between the pipes for the Canucks. His last win was a 3-0 shutout against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. Jaroslav Halak will get the start for the Isles.
Radim Vrbata who has had the hot hand of late is moving to the second line to play alongside Nick Bonino and Chris Higgins. Vrbata has found the back of the net in three straight games and leads the squad with 16 goals. The hope behind the switch is to trigger some offence for Bonino and Higgins and having Vrbata join the two should allow for more scoring opportunities. Bonino has one goal in his last 22 games after starting the season with seven in his first 14 as a Canuck.
When it comes to the Standings the Islanders are amongst the elite. The Isles are third in the Eastern Conference with 53 points and are 7-2-1 in their last 10. In what may come as a surprise, the Isles share the NHL lead for wins with Chicago, Montreal and Anaheim at 26. When it comes to close games, the Isles are 17-2-1 in one-goal games, 4-0 in overtime and 6-1 in shootouts. The Canucks on the other hand are in a four-way tie for fifth place. Sitting at 47 points the Canucks are two points behind the Blues for fourth but only two points ahead of the Flames at ninth.
The Canucks are coming off a 4-1 victory over the Red Wings and are 3-2 in their last five. Expect the bottom six to stay the same with Zack Kassian on the third line with Brad Richardson and Shawn Matthias. Jannik Hansen will drop to the fourth line alongside Bo Horvat and Derek Dorsett.
Puck drop is set for 7pm.
Tune into Spice Sports for all the pre-game action.