Red Wings-Canucks Preview
The Vancouver Canucks are on the verge of their worst home start in franchise history, and the Detroit Red Wings are looking to capitalize on that in order to snap a skid of their own.
The Canucks try to avoid a fifth straight loss at Rogers Arena by dealing the Red Wings another defeat in the finale of this road trip Saturday night.
Vancouver (3-2-2) has lost its first four games at home (0-2-2) for the first time since 1984-85. The Canucks went five games without a win as host to open the 1995-96 season, but three of those were ties.
They wasted a chance to end the current skid Thursday, blowing a third-period lead for the third time at home and falling 3-2 to Washington.
"We have to be grittier and stop thinking home ice is going to come easy for us," center Henrik Sedin told the team’s official website. "You can’t start making plays at the blue lines, trying to make the cute plays. You have to be direct and get pucks deep and go from there. We haven’t done enough of that."
The Red Wings (3-3-1) enter the conclusion of this four-game road trip dealing with their own issues late in games. They’ve been outscored 7-2 after the second period during a four-game losing streak (0-3-1).
Detroit squandered a third-period lead with 1:12 to play Friday before giving up a goal in overtime of a 3-2 loss at Calgary.
"We didn’t get on our toes enough," first-year coach Jeff Blashill said. "When we did have time in their end we didn’t do a good enough job of getting pucks to the net, not that we weren’t attempting to do so. We got to do a better job of getting through."
Gustav Nyquist is doing his part with five points over the last six games. The right wing got his first power-play goal Friday and his third tally of the season. Despite the Wings’ recent struggles, the right wing has one point in three of the last four contests.
Nyquist also has one point in three straight meetings with the Canucks.
Petr Mrazek is expected to get the start in goal in place of Jimmy Howard, who made 37 saves Friday and is 2-1-1 with a 2.24 goals-against average.
Mrazek has given up three goals in each of his three games, all on the road, losing two. This is his first meeting with the Canucks.
He’ll have to contend with Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Daniel Sedin has 47 points in 49 career regular-season meetings with Detroit, while Henrik Sedin has 46 in 51.
The twins had three points each in a 4-1 home victory over the Red Wings on Jan. 3.
Henrik Sedin, though, is coming off a two-point effort against the Capitals after failing to get any through the first three home games.
Radim Vrbata also had one goal and one assist Thursday for his first points of the season. The right wing snapped an eight-game goal drought against the Red Wings by scoring on a power play Jan. 3.
Ryan Miller had 29 saves in that matchup to end his seven-game losing streak against Detroit, during which he went 0-5-2 with a 3.27 GAA.