Canucks vs. Wild Preview
Looking to build off their highest-scoring performance of the season, the Canucks will try for their first road win as they visit the struggling Wild on Tuesday.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Canucks –125 money line favorites for Tuesday's game against the Wild. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 77% of more than 12,969 bets for this game have been placed on the Canucks -125.
Vancouver (2-2-1) was the Western Conference's top scoring team last season with 272 goals, but had scored seven goals in its first four games, prompting coach Alan Vigneault to shift some of his lines.
Those moves paid off in a 5-1 win over Carolina on Sunday.
Mason Raymond, moved up to the top line, had two goals and an assist while Mikael Samuelsson, dropped from the first line to the third line after having two assists in four games, had a goal and two assists.
"It's tough, we're not off to the start we wanted I guess, but I thought we played our best 60 minute game tonight," Raymond told the Canucks' official website. "I felt like we've been snake bitten a bit, but that's the past ... and we've got to carry that into Minnesota."
Ryan Kesler, who recorded his first point of the season with a third-period power-play goal, had four goals and an assist against the Wild in 2009-10.
Vancouver won four of six against Minnesota last season, but lost two of the three road games. The Canucks have dropped their first two road contests.
Backup goaltender Cory Schneider made 32 saves Sunday, but likely will give way to Roberto Luongo, who is 1-2-1 with a 2.46 goals-against average. Luongo has lost his last two visits to Xcel Energy Center, giving up five goals in each start.
While he may not play Tuesday, Schneider's strong performance gives Vancouver's coaching staff confidence ahead of a four-game stretch in six days, including a visit to Chicago on Wednesday. The Canucks said they were hoping to split up the starts as part of an effort to reduce Luongo's workload.
"If I can't get the job done then they really have no choice than to play Roberto lots," Schneider said. "I think part of my job is to just show that I'm capable of handling 20 games and allowing them to give Roberto a rest when he needs it."
Monday begins an equally busy stretch of three games in four days for Minnesota (1-2-1), which lost 3-2 to Columbus on Saturday. Brent Burns and Cal Clutterbuck each scored, but the Blue Jackets went ahead with 9:02 to play after a lengthy review on a short-handed goal.
"Regardless of the call, of what we think, or what really happened, we got what we deserved," coach Todd Richards said. "From the start we didn't really have the urgency that we needed to play, until they counted it a goal."
The Wild, who were 12th in the West with 219 goals last season, were outshot 10-2 in the first period and finished with a season-low 23. Mikko Koivu failed to record a point after totaling two goals and three assists in the first three contests.The teams will meet again in Vancouver on Friday.
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