(Photo courtesy of www.thewig.com) The Dallas Stars will close out their Western Canada road trip Friday night in Vancouver against the Canucks. The Stars are coming off a devastating loss to the Calgary Flames, in that game Mike Cammalleri scored a hat trick to help lead the last place Flames to a 7-4 victory. Dallas, however did have some positives come out of that game, their Captain Brenden Morrow scored two goals, Eric Nystrom and Cody Eakin would also score for the Stars. Despite the loss, it's good the Stars are getting some offense from other lines, this takes some of the work load off the top scoring lines.
Well there is no denying it, Vancouver has a pretty good team as they are currently 6th in the entire NHL, while the Dallas sits in the 14th spot. The Canucks have points from almost all of their players on the roster with a the few exceptions. Former Dallas Star Manny Malhotra has now been placed injured reserve (out for the season) with lingering eye issues, while Canucks power forward Ryan Kesler is set to return to the lineup against the Stars.
As for players on the Canucks to watch out for, obviously the Sedin twins, Edler, Raymond, Burrows, Hansen, and Bieksa to name a few. Amazingly, Henrik Sedin hasn't scored a goal yet, as Zach Kassian leads the Canucks in goals. As Dallas was on a winning streak, Vancouver has started their own and could win their seventh game in a row against the Stars. The Canucks have been juggling goaltenders this season, both Schneider and Luongo have been a very consistent duo in the pipes. If I was to guess, I think Cory Schneider will start for Vancouver, he won all four starts he had against Dallas last year with a 1.26 GAA to go with it. As for the Stars it's probably going to be Kari Lehtonen in net, however his numbers against the Canucks have not been great as he is 0-3-0 in his three starts in Vancouver. Some keys for the Stars to close out this road trip, sounding like a broken record here, but stay out of the penalty box. Next key, get the power play going again, which the Stars were 2 for 4 versus the Flames, so it's a start. Finally, for the Stars play your game and stick to the basics, Vancouver's theme this year is "Our Team, Our Way" so let's change that. (The video below is Stars forward Vern Fiddler mocking Canucks defensemen Kevin Bieska).