By Andrew Chernoff
October 20, 2016
Game Time: 7:00 PM PST
Location: Rogers Arena
TV: Sportsnet 360
Radio: TSN 1040
Vancouver (3-0-0=6 pts) play their final game of their four game homestand to start the season, taking on the Buffalo Sabres (1-1-1=3 pts) at Rogers Arena tonight.
The Vancouver Canucks look for a 4-0 start from the start of a season, for the second time in their history, against the Sabres.
Last time Canucks started a season with 4-consecutive wins was the 1992-93 season. Vancouver defeated: the Edmonton Oilers in their first two games, followed by the Winnipeg Jets, in the next two games.
The Canucks made history their last game, when they became the first team in NHL history to win their first three games of this season while never leading in regulation in any of those games.
In their start to this season, the Canucks have already won three games in which they trailed after two periods, while last season Vancouver won only three of 34 games in which they trailed after 40 minutes.
Jacob Markstrom will get his 3rd consecutive game start of the season, after picking up a victories against Carolina on Saturday night, and St. Louis on Tuesday night.
Markstrom has a 1.97 GAA, and a .913 SV%.
Ryan Miller is expected to be the backup for the Canucks, according to coach Willie Desjardins, he announced on Wednesday.
The Buffalo Sabres have managed to start their season with 3 points and a record of 1-1-1. Their overtime loss came courtesy of the Calgary Flames who defeated them 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday night in Calgary, in the first game of a two-game road trip through Western Canada.
Buffalo special teams are: 4 for 16: 25 percent on the power play overall (tied for 6th best in the NHL); and 9 for 9: 100 percent on the penalty kill overall, one of only three teams to be perfect.
Vancouver Canucks special teams are: 0 for10: 0 percent on the power play overall (worst in the NHL), with 16 shots for, 6 shots against; and 6 for 7: 85.71 percent on the penalty kill overall (11th best in NHL), with 9 shots against, 0 shots for.
Vancouver has allowed only five goals against, while Buffalo has surrendered 10.
What’s at stake:
The Canucks repeatedly keep laying an egg with the man advantage and the power play is at risk of becoming their Achilles heel. The power play is 0 for 10, and the weak link in their offensive attack and main shortcoming in not being able to put themselves in the position of first getting a lead, and then maintaining it.
The Sabres have killed 9 straight penalties dating back to their first game of the season. Is this going to be the game that Vancouver finds a chink in that penalty killing armor of the Sabres?
As with St. Louis, the Canucks better not be complacent and rest on their laurels of the last three wins, and underestimate what Buffalo is bringing tonight, or the Canucks could be in for some tough Sabre rattling.
As last game, Vancouver needs to rise to the level of, being better than Buffalo scoring goals and outscoring the Sabres , so overtime or a shootout are not necessary and they win their first game in regulation.
Buffalo: 1-1-1 (Road: 1-0-1)
Vancouver: 3-0-0 (Home: 3-0-0)
Team SF SA PP PK PIM
Buf 76 91 4-16 9-9 26
Van 88 71 0-10 6-7 16
Team CF CA SCF SCA HITS
Buf 136(94) 163(128) 36 55 52
Van 174(130) 122(94) 56 33 40
Note: 5v5 stats in parenthesis for CF & CA
Canucks At A Glance:
- Vancouver and Buffalo have played 58 games in each others barn.
- Vancouver is 49-46-21 all-time vs Buffalo and were 1-1-0 in 2015-16.
- Daniel Sedin has 16 points vs Buffalo, with 3 points last season.
- Henrik Sedin’s OTG against St. Louis puts him in a tie for fifth for most OTG in club history with Markus Naslund and Geoff Courtnall.
- The Canucks have won 7 straight games when allowing three or less goals, going back to last season.
- The Canucks are 3-7 in their last 10 games playing on 1 days rest and 5-0 in their last 5 home games, going back to last season.
- Home Sweet Home:
- Canucks are 3-0-0 on their home stand.
- They are averaging: 2.33 goals per game; 1.67 goals against (3rd best in the NHL overall)
- Power play is 0.0 percent (0 for 10), 30th overall in the NHL. Penalty kill is 75 percent (6 for 7), 11th best overall in the NHL
- Face-off winning percentage is 49.1 percent, 18th best overall in the NHL
- Canucks are a +3 in plus/minus as a team, 6th best in the NHL
- Vancouver has the 5th best save percentage in the NHL at .931
- Canucks have the 2nd least shots against in the NHL with 71.
- Vancouver has the 2nd best shot against average in the NHL with 23.7 SA/G.
- Brandon Sutter leads Canucks with 11 shots; Daniel Sedin has 9 shots; Erik Gudbranson, 8 shots; Alex Edler and Philip Larsen, 7 shots each.
- Alex Edler has 10 blocked shots; Derek Dorsett, 9 hits.
- Henrik Sedin and Luca Sbisa lead Canucks with 4 giveaways; Alex Burrows leads Canucks with 4 takeaways.
- Bo Horvat leads Canucks in goals with 2; shooting percentage at 40 percent.
- Ten Canuck forwards have at least one point after two games this season. Forwards searching for their first points are: Alex Burrows, Jake Virtanen and Jack Skille.
- After three home games, Canucks have:
- 88 shots for (18th); 71 shots against (2nd); 32 blocked shots (25th); 40 hits (30th); 36 missed shots (16th); 23 giveaways (9th); 21 takeaways (18th).
- Vancouver has the best CorsiFor% at 5 on 5 in the NHL at 58.04 percent, and the best CorsiFor% All Strengths at 58.78 percent.
Potential Canucks Lineup:
They Said It….