CANUCKS BANTER By Andrew Chernoff MARCH 27, 2016
The Vancouver Canucks (27 – 34 – 13 = 67 pts) host the Chicago Blackhawks (43 – 25 – 7 = 93 pts) tonight in their third and final meeting of the season. Tonight also marks the first of a two game home stand for the Canucks who take on division rival San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.
Vancouver enters the game in the midst of a 7-game losing streak, and out of the playoffs for the second time in the last three seasons.
In the last Canucks game on March 25, Vancouver lost 4-0 to the St. Louis Blues. The Canucks were shut out for the fourth time in the past five games and extended their winless streak to a season-high seven games. Yannick Weber had three hits. Nikita Tryamkin had three blocked shots. Jacob Markstrom made 33 saves.
This is the second of seven consecutive games the Canucks will play against playoff teams, and their 38th home game of the season.
Ryan Miller starts for Vancover, bringing a 15-22-9 record into the game with a 2.63 GAA and .917 Sv% and 1 shutout, but has lost his last three starts.
Miller’s save percentage during his three-game winless streak (108 saves on 115 shots) is .939, above his season average, but his teammates have only been able to score 3 goals during his winless streak.
Vancouver has the 5th best penalty kill in the NHL since March 1 with a 87.5 percentage (28 for 32), and since March 10 the Canucks have only allowed one power play goal against in 21 opportunities, for 95.2 percent, 3rd best in the NHL in that span.
- Canucks are averaging 2.17 goals per game. For an 82 game schedule the estimate is Vancouver will finish with 178 goals. The least number of goals ever scored by a Vancouver team in a full season of 82 games is 192 by the 1998-99 Canucks.
- Vancouver needs to average 3.00 goals per game over their last 8 games for a minimum 193 goals, to avoid 2015-16 being the season for the worst offensive production by a Canucks teams in franchise history.
Derek Dorsett and Andrey Pedan will not play tonight, while Alex Biega and Jared McCann enter the line-up.
Injured for Vancouver are: D Christopher Tanev (lower body) and F Markus Granlund (upper body) are day-to-day. D Luca Sbisa (upper body) is week-to-week. F Radim Vrbata (knee) is out for the season. F Brandon Sutter (fractured jaw) and D Alexander Edler (fibula fracture) are on the injured reserve list and are out for the season.