Soon-to-be-ex division rivals, the Vancouver Canucks (11-6-6) and Minnesota Wild (12-9-2), will clash tonight for the third time this season when they go head-to-head at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
- The slumping Canucks come into to tonight's contest winless in three straight games (0-1-2) and as losers of five of their last six contests (1-3-2). They're also winless in their last three games on the road (0-2-1).
- You'd have to go back more than two years to find the last time the Canucks went winless in four straight games. The last time they did so was from January 16 to 22, 2011 when they dropped consecutive decisions against the Wild, Avalanche, Sharks and Flames, respectively.
- The Wild are coming off a 2-1 shootout win last night in Nashville and have won two of their last three games. They also bring a three-game home ice win streak into tonight's contest and have earned points in five straight games (4-0-1) at the Xcel Energy Center overall.
- The Wild come into tonight's contest trailing the Canucks by two points in the standings but could take over top spot in the Northwest Division with a regulation win tonight as they would have the tiebreaker in wins.
- Tonight marks the third of four meetings between the Canucks and Wild this season. Vancouver has already ensured nothing less than a split after winning the first two head-to-head meetings, including recording a 4-1 victory at the Xcel Energy Center back on February 7.
- In the teams' most recent clash on February 12 at Rogers Arena, G Roberto Luongo made 25 saves on 26 shots while Jannik Hansen's second period marker stood up as the game winner in a 2-1 Vancouver victory. Wild G Darcy Kuemper, making his NHL debut that night, made 28 saves in the loss.
- Canucks D Keith Ballard, who sat out Thursday's loss in Columbus with a charley horse, is a possibility to return tonight but fellow defenseman Kevin Bieksa will sit out again. F Tom Sestito, who injured his hip during an optional practice on Friday, is expected to play.
- Canucks F Mason Raymond leads all players in the season series with three points (1-2-3). Wild F Matt Cullen leads his team in points against the Canucks this season with two (0-2-2).
- Canucks G Cory Schneider will try to snap a personal two-game winless skid tonight. He already owns a win over Minnesota this season as he was the starter the last time the Canucks were at the Xcel Energy Center back on February 7. He made 22 saves on 23 shots that night in a 4-1 win.
- Wild G Matt Hackett, who was called up from Houston (AHL) on Friday, is expected to start tonight. The 23-year-old appeared in 12 games for Minnesota last season posting a 3-6-0 record while starting his NHL career with an NHL-record shutout streak of 102:48. He has yet to face the Canucks in his career.
- The Canucks are 1-2-0 this season against teams that had to play the night before while the Wild are 2-2-0 this season when playing on zero days rest.
- The Canucks, as well as the Wild, will reach the midway mark of their respective seasons tonight. Last season, the Canucks celebrated reaching the midway mark with a 3-0 win over the Wild on home ice.
FOLLOW THE GAME
Tonight's game faces off at 5 pm PT and can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific. Listen live on The TEAM 1040 Sports Radio or online at teamradio.ca.
Those away from a TV or radio can follow @CanucksGame on Twitter for live in-game play-by-play.