Canucks vs Vegas Gameday Preview

Canucks vs Vegas Gameday Preview

The Canucks return to Rogers Arena to launch a brief two-game homestand when they host the expansion Vegas Golden Knights tonight. At 10-6-1 Vegas sits one point ahead of the 9-7-2 Canucks in the Pacific Division standings.

Jacob Markstrom returns to the Canuck net after watching Tuesday's 3-2 win in Los Angeles from the bench. That will be the only change to the Vancouver line-up which means Jake Virtanen sits out a third straight game. Alex Burmistrov and Patrick Wiercioch will be the other scratches.

The Canucks are looking for back to back wins for the first time since a 1-0 win in Minnesota and a 6-2 victory at home against Washington. That was three weeks ago. They are 3-4-1 in the eight games since that 6-2 win over the Capitals.

The Canucks PP went 2 for 3 in LA on Tuesday. Word from the players at the rink this morning is that they were informed of the power play changes at a team meeting at the hotel on Tuesday morning, not at the rink just prior to game time.

Sven Baertschi scored the game-winner on a third period power play Tuesday. After starting the season without a goal in his first seven games, he has 6 goals in his past 11 games and two in the last three.

Brock Boeser has gone five games without a goal and his hattrick against Pittsburgh on November 4th was the only game in which the rookie has scored in his past 12 outings. Despite the lack of goals of late, Boeser remains the team leader in scoring and is second in NHL rookie production with 5+10=15.

The Canucks are still looking for offense from their defense. Derrick Pouliot assisted on two of the three goals in LA, but Michael Del Zotto remains the lone healthy Canuck defenseman with a goal this season. As a group, the blueline has scored three goals and Chris Tanev (thumb) has two of them.

The Canucks are 3-4-2 on home ice, but have just one win (vs PIT) in their past four outings.

The Golden Knights arrive in town after an 8-2 loss in Edmonton on Tuesday. Maxime Lagace started that game, but left in the third period with lower-body tightness. Kamloops Blazers goalie Dylan Ferguson made his NHL debut in relief. Lagace has pronounced himself healthy enough to start tonight with Ferguson serving as his back-up.

After an 8-1 start to the season, the Knights are 2-5-1 in their past eight games.  Tonight marks an end of a stretch of their schedule in which they are playing eight of nine away from T-Mobile Arena. They are 1-5-1 in their last seven road games.

Aldergrove's Shea Theodore has been a healthy scratch the past three games, but will return to the VGK line-up tonight.

James Neal leads the team -- and is tied for sixth in the league -- with 10 goals on the season. David Perron with 15 points leads the club in scoring. He's on a five-game point streak with 1+6=7 over that stretch.

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