Gameday: Wild at Vancouver

  • December 18, 2011 - 8:35 PM

Preview: The Wild, winless in three consecutive games for the first time this season, hits the road for three games against division foes. Up first is Vancouver. The Canucks, second in the Northwest Division, had a stretch in which they won nine of 10 before a shootout loss to Columbus, a one-goal loss to Carolina, and a victory at Toronto.

Players to watch: RW Cal Clutterbuck, who got the Wild's lone goal against the Islanders, has 13 points in the past 15 games, including seven goals. C Kyle Brodziak has three goals the past four games. G Niklas Backstrom is 11-10-6 vs. Vancouver all time. Canucks: C Henrik Sedin has 12 assists in his last nine games. C Ryan Kesler has six points in his past five games. LW Chris Higgins has two goals and eight assists in his past eight. G Roberto Luongo, 14-14-5 vs. Wild all time.

Numbers: Vancouver's 106 goals was second most in the Western Conference heading into Sunday's games. The Canucks' power play is clipping along at a 25.2-percent rate, best in the league.

Injuries: For the Wild, D Justin Falk (upper body) on injured reserve is ready if needed. W Devin Setoguchi (leg), W Guillaume Latendresse (concussion) and RW Casey Wellman (wrist) are out. RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard (broken nose) and C Mikko Koivu (leg) are listed as day-to-day. For Vancouver, RW Byron Bitz (groin surgery), RW Steve Pinizzotto (shoulder surgery), C/W Andrew Ebbett (foot), LW Aaron Volpatti (shoulder) and W David Booth (knee) are out.

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