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GAME DAY: GAME THREAD & PREVIEW - GAME 50: Canucks vs Detroit

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The Canucks residence in the final Wild Card slot lasted less than 24 hours, but the return of Elias Pettersson could help them get there.

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks (22-21-6) vs Detroit Red Wings (18-24-7)

Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC

When: 4:00 pm PST

Where to Watch: SNP

SB Nation Opposition Blog: Winging It In Motown

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: After being out of the lineup since tweaking a knee ligament Jan 4th against Montreal, it looks like Elias Pettersson is ready to return to the Canucks lineup. While they managed to tread water without him, if they’re going to actually try and do this whole playoff thing, they need to have the shoe-in Calder Trophy winner in the lineup the rest of the way.

The Canucks are coming off a big win against a Buffalo team that was riding high after knocking off the Calgary Flames. The win was big because quite simply, they played an awful game, but got a stellar performance from Thatcher Demko and some timely goals from Brock Boeser and Loui Eriksson en route to the win.

This game has all the makings of a trap for the Canucks, one they’ve fallen into so many times. The last place team comes in and out works them in their own building, the Canucks spot them a lead and then can’t catch up. Sound familiar? These same Wings have beaten the Ducks and Wild in the last week, and gave Calgary all they could handle the other night, so another slow start from the Canucks probably isn’t the game plan to go with here.

Here’s what we should see line-wise via The Province...

CANUCKS’ LINES

LW – C – RW

Josh Leivo — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser

Sven BaertschiBo HorvatMarkus Granlund

Antoine RousselBrandon SutterJake Virtanen

Loui Eriksson — Jay BeagleTyler Motte

Defence pairings

Alex Edler — Chris Tanev

Ben HuttonTroy Stecher

Derrick PouliotErik Gudbranson

Goalies: Jacob Markstrom, Thatcher Demko

RED WINGS’ LINES

LW – C – RW

Tyler BertuzziDylan LarkinGustav Nyquist

Thomas VanekFrans NielsenAnthony Mantha

Darren HelmLuke GlendeningAndreas Athanasiou

Justin AbdelkaderChristoffer EhnMartin Frk

Defence pairings

Niklas KronwallMike Green

Dan DeKeyser — Nick Jensen

Jonathan EricssonDennis Cholowski

Goalie: Jimmy Howard, Jonathan Bernier

SICK BAY

Canucks: All healthy

Red Wings: Trevor Daley (broken foot), Michael Rasmussen (hamstring)

SPECIAL TEAMS

Power play

Canucks: 17.2% (21st); Red Wings: 16.9% (23rd)

Penalty kill

Canucks: 78.6% (21st); Red Wings: 76.9% (25th)

Yes, that is not a typo. The Canucks are 100% healthy. It’s the 1st time this season they’ve got no one on the Injured List and as the Province points out, just the 7th time they have their top 4 centers in the lineup.

Detroit has a couple injuries, and it looks like Vancouver native Michael Rasmussen won’t be in the lineup today despite being medically cleared. WIIM is also saying Cholowski will be in the press box for this one.

Here’s some pregame reading for ya: While overall the Canucks were a defensive mess against the Sabres, the pairing of Alex Edler and Chris Tanev continue to lead the way... WIIM’s previews are here and here... Detroit coach Jeff Blashill says the Wings are better than their record suggests... On Pettersson’s return and what it means to their playoff hopes... And from the Future Is Bright Dept., just gonna leave this here...

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN: Watched a great documentary a few weeks back called ‘The Godfathers of Hardcore’ about legendary NYHC band Agnostic Front. Well worth checking out (if you have Crave TV, it’s on there). They were one of the bands from the whole NY scene that shared the stage with metal bands in the early days and helped create the crossover scene.