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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME SIXTY-SEVEN: Canucks @ Dallas- Mar 26, 2022

After taking three of four points in the first two stops on this four game Central swing, the Canucks head to Dallas for the next edition of The Biggest Game Of The Season™

Vancouver Canucks v Dallas Stars Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (31-26-9) vs DALLAS STARS (36-24-3)

AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER, DALLAS, TX

4:00PM PST

TV: SN360, SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: DEFENDING BIG D

The out of town scoreboard hasn’t been particularly kind to the Canucks as they embarked on this quest back in December to defy the astronomical odds and battle for a playoff spot, but at the end of the day, it’s what they do on the scoreboard above them that will decide their fate. Sure, it sucks that Dallas got outshot 43-15 by Carolina and won the game, but that kind of shit happens in a universe run by Gary Bettman. It certainly makes a compelling argument for the abolition of the shootout. That’s not parity, it’s shitty bad luck for the team that was better at hockey all night long. If you can’t decide the game by playing hockey, the game should end tied and let that be the end of it. The shootout is a joke, and the Stars had no business claiming that second point. But, I digress. Tonight, it’s time to walk into Dallas and take their lunch.

It would be easy to criticize the Canucks for some of the effort in that OT loss, but given the context of the back to back, what time they arrived in Minnesota after playing in Denver freaking Colorado the night before, and the fact they got a shitty bounce off the post, it could easily have been a win. And taking three of four points of the obviously toughest half of this four game swing was a victory of itself. Tonight though, there cannot be overtime if the Canucks hope to keep pace, and they’ll also need a bit of scoreboard help from... ugh... the Chicago Blackhawks as they are in Vegas this afternoon to take on the Golden Knights.

With no extra players on the road with them for this trip, this means there’s been an injury, and it’s Matthew Highmore, who left the game in the third and didn’t return after a hit from Kurtis MacDermid in the game against Colorado. Lockwood’s been someone who’s deserved a call up for a while now, so it’s good to see him get a chance in a massive game tonight in Dallas.

The last time these teams met was back in November, and while it was an impressive 6-3 victory for the Canucks, it preceded a four game slide that saw the Canucks outscored 23-8 and was truly the beginning of the end for Jim Benning and Travis Green. Still, the Canucks are a much better team than they were back in November, and after a frustrating loss in Minnesota Thursday night, they should be fired up for a chance to chip away at the Stars’ hold on that final playoff spot.

LINEUPS

Canucks projected lineup

Tanner PearsonJ.T. MillerConor Garland

Elias PetterssonBo HorvatBrock Boeser

Vasily PodkolzinJuho LammikkoAlex Chiasson

Nic PetanBrad RichardsonWilliam Lockwood

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Quinn HughesLuke Schenn

Travis DermottBrad Hunt

Thatcher Demko

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: None

Injured: Matthew Highmore (upper body), Nils Hoglander (lower body), Jason Dickinson (lower body), Kyle Burroughs (upper body), Tucker Poolman (headaches)

Stars projected lineup

Jason RobertsonRoope HintzJoe Pavelski

Vladislav NamestnikovTyler SeguinDenis Gurianov

Jacob PetersonJamie BennAlexander Radulov

Michael RafflRadek FaksaLuke Glendening

Esa LindellJohn Klingberg

Ryan SuterJani Hakanpaa

Thomas HarleyJoel Hanley

Jake Oettinger

Scott Wedgewood

Scratched: Joel Kiviranta, Jacob Peterson, Andrej Sekera

Injured: Miro Heiskanen (mononucleosis), Braden Holtby (lower body)

GAME DAY CHATTER

When we said this is a huge game, we weren’t kidding. Gotta give Dallas credit, as a three game win streak using your 3rd and 4th string goalies and with your All Star defenceman on the IR is impressive. As important as it is to get the win, it’s also vital they come out of this game intact. I guess that should mean watching out for any Jamie Benn shenanigans.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Pretty sad day for rock n roll today with the news of the death of FOO FIGHTERS drummer Taylor Hawkins at the age of 50. The band was to perform at a festival in Bogota, Columbia tonight. Hawkins got his start as the drummer for both Sass Jordan and Alanis Morissette before getting the gig replacing the original drummer in FF. I’m not what you’d call a fan, but I have always respected the band and their work ethic. From the band’s movie ‘Studio 666’, this is the FOO FIGHTERS (as DREAM WIDOW) and ‘The Sweet Abyss’. RIP.