Sharks vs. Canucks Preview
VANCOUVER, B.C. - Daniel and Henrik Sedin were without a point in two straight games for the first time since February. A familiar face wasn't about to let that stretch hit three in the Vancouver Canucks' last contest.
Alexandre Burrows rejoined the twins on the top line, and the trio hopes to continue its success against the visiting San Jose Sharks on Friday night.
Burrows and the Sedins were a fixture together much of last season but were forced apart when Burrows had offseason shoulder surgery and missed the first month of 2010-11. Burrows led Vancouver with 35 goals last season, Henrik Sedin led the NHL with 83 assists and won the Hart Trophy as league MVP, and Daniel Sedin registered 85 points in just 63 games.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Canucks –135 money line favorites for Friday's game against the Sharks. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 50% of more than 95 bets for this game have been placed on the Canucks -135.
Trends say that the Sharks are 6-2 ATS versus the Canucks the past three seasons.
Reunited again Wednesday, Burrows and Daniel Sedin had a goal and an assist each, and Henrik Sedin had two assists in a 4-2 victory against Colorado that snapped a four-game skid.
"If I play with them I know I have to give them the puck as much as I can and they are going to make plays in the offensive zone," Burrows said.
Vancouver's four goals matched its output from the previous three games combined, and it improved to 8-0-0 when scoring four or more goals. The Canucks (11-7-3) avoided their first five-game losing streak since an eight-game slide Jan. 1-31, 2009.
"(Changing lines) means guys are playing in the right spots, playing the right minutes," Henrik Sedin said. "It's good for us."
Putting together two straight wins for the first time in two weeks also would be a plus for Vancouver, especially against a San Jose team it's only beaten twice in the last 12 meetings.
The Sharks (10-6-4) won for the first time in four games Wednesday, beating Chicago 5-2 behind a solid 30-save performance from former Blackhawk Antti Niemi. He is 2-0-1 in his last three starts after beginning the season 1-4-0.
"We had a pretty good idea that (playing Chicago) would be a motivating factor for the rest of the players, not only (Niemi)," coach Todd McLellan said. "I'm glad to see they showed up to play for him. Maybe this will set him in the right direction as far as a confidence boost."
Patrick Marleau had his sixth multi-point game with two goals, and Joe Pavelski's power-play score in the second period ended an 0-for-15 stretch for the Sharks with the man advantage.
Marleau's first goal put San Jose ahead by two in the third period and the Sharks hung on for the win - something they couldn't do in the first two games of their three-game skid. San Jose held a two-goal lead with less than 10 minutes remaining in losses at Colorado and Dallas last week.
"I think we played a more complete game than we've played in a while," McLellan said.
Marleau has a goal and four assists in his last two games against Vancouver.
The Canucks will be without forward Rick Rypien, who was granted an indefinite leave of absence Thursday. It's the second time in three years he has left the team to deal with undisclosed personal matters.
Rypien received a six-game suspension from the NHL earlier this season after grabbing a fan on his way to the dressing room in Minnesota.This is the first of four meetings between these teams after the Sharks took three of four last season.