(Photo credit: National Post)
Vancouver Canucks (9-5-1)
Toronto Maple Leafs (10-4-0)
On Pavel Bure night tonight, the Vancouver Canucks will attempt to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 11th straight meeting. Meanwhile, the Leafs will attempt to complete a 3-game sweep as they close out their Western Conference road trip.
Because of the lockout last season, the two teams haven’t met since February 2012. In that game, the Sedins and Alex Burrows combined for 10 points (3 goals and 7 assists) as the Canucks won handily, by a 6-2 score.
The Leafs are definitely improved since that 2012 meeting. Last season, they broke a 7-season postseason drought, and took the Boston Bruins to Game 7 of the first round of the NHL playoffs. This season, they sit 1st in the Eastern Conference and 4th in the overall NHL standings with 20 points in 14 games (10-4-0). The Canucks, however, aren’t too far behind with 19 points in 15 games.
The newly-extended Daniel Sedin, who scored the Canucks’ lone goal in their last game against the Detroit Red Wings, extended his point streak to 5 games (5 goals, 3 assists and 8 points). Henrik Sedin, who, like his brother, was signed to a contract extension yesterday, has a 10-game point streak himself (3 goals, 9 assists and 12 points).
For the Leafs, James van Riemsdyk has 2 goals and 5 assists on his current 5-game point streak.
The Vancouver Canucks will be playing without forwards David Booth (lower body), Jordan Schroeder (ankle), Jannik Hansen (upper body) and Dale Weise (lower body).
The Toronto Maple Leafs will be playing without defenseman Mark Fraser (knee), and forwards Nikolai Kulemin (ankle) and Tyler Bozak (lower body).