Game Day Preview Canucks vs. Lightning: A Make-or-Break Month
Vancouver Canucks (23-11-7)
Tampa Bay Lightning (23-12-4)
The Vancouver Canucks ended 2013 with an impressive 10-1-2 December record. They hope to keep rolling in 2014, but their January schedule gets considerably tougher. Tonight, they’ll meet the Tampa Bay Lightning, who currently sits in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference. Afterwards, they have the Los Angeles Kings (twice), Anaheim Ducks (twice), Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Phoenix Coyotes (twice) and Chicago Blackhawks, among others, on tap.
The Lightning look to get back to their winning ways to start 2014. They’re coming off consecutive losses after going on a season-high 5-game win streak. The Lightning have won their last 3 road games.
This is the first of two meetings between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Vancouver Canucks. They last met on January 10th, 2012 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum; the Canucks won 5-4 in a shootout.
Jannik Hansen seems to be getting the hang of playing with the Sedins. He’s now scored in back-to-back games, and has 5 goals in his last 9 games.
For the Lightning, forward Valtteri Filppula has 6 points (2 goals and 4 assists) in his last 4 games.
Both the Canucks and Lightning are missing quite a few star players.
The Canucks are still without defenseman Alexander Edler (lower body) and forwards Jordan Schroeder (ankle) and Alexandre Burrows (jaw) who are all on injured reserve. Defenseman Ryan Stanton (ankle) is out indefinitely. Goaltender Roberto Luongo is day-to-day with a lower body injury.
For the Lightning, forwards Steven Stamkos (leg) and Ryan Malone (ankle), and defenseman Keith Aulie (hand) are all on injured reserve. Defensemen Eric Brewer (arm) and Sami Salo (upper body) are both day-to-day.