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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME SEVENTY-FOUR: Canucks vs Vegas- Apr 12, 2022

Winners of three straight, the Canucks head into a massive game tonight against Vegas with a chance to creep closer to the post-season. And it’s Canucks For Kids Telethon Night, so give if you can!

NHL: APR 03 Golden Knights at Canucks Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (34-28-10) vs VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (40-29-4)

ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC

7:00PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: KNIGHTS ON ICE

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over, and for the Canucks, there’s a slim opportunity to salvage what had looked to be a particularly frustrating lost season. It’s still so unlikely to happen that it’s comical to suggest it, but when has that ever stopped us?

A couple months ago, when it became apparent that the Bruce Bump was happening, we looked forward at this month, and how it could all come down to three games against Vegas potentially deciding their fate if they could claw their way back into the race. And wouldn’t you know it, here we are, with the Canucks about to play the third game of that three game set, playing as confidently as we’ve seen them all season long, no longer the easy two points that the Golden Knights had become accustomed to since joining the NHL, as we saw in their game last week.

And while the Canucks have done their part this month so far, they’ll need help from others to make this happen, and that’s the half of the equation that’s been letting them down thus far. Tonight, a couple huge games that could impact all this will be worth keeping an eye on, as we get San Jose in Nashville, Los Angeles in Chicago, and Dallas hosting Tampa. With the Kings losing Drew Doughty for the rest of the season, their six point lead on the Canucks isn’t looking so comfortable right now. They have a back to back with the Blackhawks tonight and Colorado tomorrow, but don’t play a playoff team the rest of the season after tomorrow. They’re playing .500 hockey since the start of March, and with the loss of Doughty, they could be in trouble.

The Canucks most recent win wasn’t pretty, but exactly the kind of games they need to win right now, and one that earlier this season had come out on the short end of more often than not. Clutch goals from the supporting cast is something they need to be able to count on when teams are able to shut down Miller, Pettersson and Horvat, and they got that on Saturday.

The Canucks have their own injury issues at the moment, as Brock Boeser and Tanner Pearson will not play tonight or Thursday against Arizona. And there’s word that Mark Stone might be a game time decision for Vegas, but I would think they’d need to do some kind of movement to get him in the lineup. They have a smidge over $5 Million in cap space and Stone’s $9.5 Million salary is juuuuust a touch over that line.

LINEUPS

Courtesy of nhl.com , this is what we might see in tonight’s disasterpiece. Perhaps.

Golden Knights projected lineup

Evgenii DadonovJack EichelNicolas Roy

Jonathan MarchessaultWilliam KarlssonMichael Amadio

Max PaciorettyChandler StephensonMark Stone

Mattias JanmarkJake LeschyshynKeegan Kolesar

Brayden McNabbShea Theodore

Ben HuttonAlex Pietrangelo

Alec MartinezZach Whitecloud

Robin Lehner

Logan Thompson

Scratched: Dylan Coghlan, Jonas Rondbjerg

Injured: Laurent Brossoit (undisclosed), Nolan Patrick (undisclosed), Nicolas Hague (lower body), Reilly Smith (lower body), Brett Howden (upper body), William Carrier (upper body)

Canucks projected lineup

Elias PetterssonBo HorvatConor Garland

Vasily PodkolzinJ.T. MillerAlex Chiasson

Nic PetanJuho LammikkoWilliam Lockwood

Jason DickinsonBrad RichardsonKyle Burroughs

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Quinn HughesLuke Schenn

Brad HuntTravis Dermott

Thatcher Demko

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Sheldon Dries

Injured: Tanner Pearson (upper body), Brock Boeser (upper body), Tucker Poolman (upper body), Matthew Highmore (upper body), Nils Hoglander (lower body)

Not a guarantee, but given the stakes in this game, I would be shocked if Stone doesn’t play. And no, you’re not seeing things, that is Kyle Burroughs on the fourth line. Boeser is meeting with team doctors today to discuss a possible return date, but he’s definitely out for tonight.

GAME DAY CHATTER

It’s a BC tradition, and always great to see how generous Canucks fans are to supporting the work they do at BC Children’s Hospital. My grandson has had to visit a couple times to treat his ulcerative colitis, so this is a pretty meaningful event for me as you can imagine. If you can support, please do.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

With their new album ‘Of Kingdom And Crown’ due out in August, the Bay Area bangers MACHINE HEAD have released the first track from it, and it’s a call back to their game-changing debut album ‘Burn My Eyes’.

Enjoy the game, everyone! Go Canucks Go! Slava Ukraini!