Ryan Kesler is happy as a kid on Christmas about his performance the past 4 games. (Photo credit vansunsportsblogs.com)
A “Battle of the Bros” takes place tonight at Rogers Arena with the Carolina Hurricanes gusting into town. ‘Canes captain, Eric Staal, and his brother, Jordan Staal, are here to take on our Sedin twins. This is the second and final meeting between the Canucks and the Canes this season. They met a little over a week ago with the Canucks winning 3-2 in Raleigh and kick-starting their 4-game win streak.
Since that loss, however, the Hurricanes have won 3 straight games themselves, including an impressive win on Friday night win against the San Jose Sharks. In that game, they battled back from a 2-goal first period deficit and scored 4 goals in the third period en route to a 5-3 win.
The Canes haven’t played since Friday and should be well-rested for tonight’s match-up. On the other hand, the Canucks played – and won – last night and tonight’s game will be their 3rd in four nights.
The Canucks will likely look to Eddie Lack to play. Roberto Luongo, who has been brilliant in his last 3 games (0.960 save percentage), was 7.1 seconds away from a shutout last night and may have the evening off.
Mike Santorelli had a hand in all 3 Canucks goals last night, scoring on 2 of them and assisting on the other, and was awarded the post-game Haida hat. He now has 7 points (3 goals and 4 assists) in his last 6 games, and 21 points (8 goals and 13 assists) in 32 games this season.
Jason Garrison has really stepped up his game with Alex Edler still injured. He notched an assist last night to extend his point-streak to 4 games; he has 6 points (1 goal and 3 assists) in that span.
With his goal last night, Ryan Kesler now has 5 goals in his last 4 games, and 15 goals this season. The latter ties him for 8th in the NHL with Sidney Crosby and Tyler Seguin. Beast mode activated.
For Carolina, Jeff Skinner has 7 points (6 goals and 1 assist) his last 5 games, including a couple of 3-point games during the current Canes win-streak.
Eric Staal is on a roll as well 5 points (1 goal and 4 assists) in his last 4 games. His 23 points for the season lead the Canes, and also leads all other Staals in the league.
Same IR list for the Canucks with Alex Edler (knee), Alex Burrows (jaw surgery) and Jordan Schroeder (ankle) all still out.
The Canes will definitely be without Mike Komisarek, Drayson Bowman and Patrick Dwyer. Alexander Semin is also day-to-day recovering from a concussion, and is not expected to play tonight.