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GAME DAY PREVIEW- Game 46: Canucks @ Minnesota

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A much better effort leads to a win in Buffalo, and now a big Western Conference game against the Minnesota Wild.

Vancouver Canucks v Minnesota Wild

VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs MINNESOTA WILD

1:00 PM PST XCEL ENERGY CENTER, MINNEAPOLIS, MN

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SN650.

OPPOSITION BLOG: HOCKEY WILDERNESS

A new day, and a much better result as the Canucks were full value for a 6-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres yesterday afternoon. Brock Boeser scored twice, including the game winner as part of a 4 goal third period en route to the win. The Canucks best players were at their best, and apart from another dreadful outing by Jay Beagle and Tim Schaller, the Canucks to a man were better yesterday.

With the win yesterday the Canucks were able to move into a wild card slot again, and getting two points today will see them hurdle the Oilers and Vegas Golden Knights into 3rd place in the Pacific Division. With this being the first of a huge 4 game week against Western Conference opponents, it’s important that they keep any momentum they got yesterday rolling, as they head to Winnipeg before returning home to take on Arizona and San Jose before their 8 day break.

And while we often look at these back to back games, especially emotional wins like yesterday’s as a precursor for disaster, today’s game should see a fired up Canucks squad, led by Boeser as he returns home, and most importantly, plays in front of his ailing father Duke Boeser, who is undergoing cancer treatment. Expect a huge game from the top line today.

These teams haven’t met since Dec 4, 2018, a 3-2 win for the Wild. The Wild are a far better team at home than they are on the road so far this year, 11-4-4 on home ice while they’re 9-14-2 on the road. Then again, the Sabres were a good home ice team and that didn’t stop the Canucks from winning yesterday. They’re sitting 6 points behind the Canucks at the moment, and desperately need a win to keep from falling further off the pace in the Central Division.

LINEUPS:

Courtesy canucks.com here’s what lineups we should see today:

Canucks projected lineup

J.T. Miller -- Elias Pettersson -- Jake Virtanen

Tanner Pearson -- Bo Horvat -- Loui Eriksson

Antoine Roussel -- Adam Gaudette -- Brock Boeser

Tyler Motte -- Jay Beagle -- Tim Schaller

Quinn Hughes -- Christopher Tanev

Alexander Edler -- Tyler Myers

Jordie Benn -- Troy Stecher

Thatcher Demko

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: Oscar Fantenberg

Injured: Josh Leivo (kneecap), Brandon Sutter (upper body), Micheal Ferland (upper body), Tyler Graovac (lower body)

Wild projected lineup

Jordan Greenway -- Eric Staal -- Mats Zuccarello

Zach Parise -- Mikko Koivu -- Kevin Fiala

Marcus Foligno -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Luke Kunin

Ryan Donato -- Victor Rask -- Ryan Hartman

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Carson Soucy -- Greg Pateryn

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Brad Hunt

Injured: Jason Zucker (lower body)

The Wild are ridiculously healthy compared to the Canucks, and may have Jason Zucker back in the lineup despite having surgery just 3 weeks ago after suffering a cracked fibula in a game on Dec 15th. Thatcher Demko will get the start, and look to put in a strong game after the 5-2 loss in Florida on Thursday night. Devan Dubnyk gets the nod for the Wild.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN:

Minnesota’s not known for metal, so we’ll turn back the clock to a video from POWERMAD’s first ep. Here’s ‘Terminator’. Enjoy the game.