The Canucks and Flames renew their Northwest Division rivalry on Thursday. This is the first of a home and home series which sees the Flames visiting GM Place in the first meeting.
The Flames have not fared well in GM Place and will look to make a push towards the top of the Northwest with a win in Vancouver.
Roberto Luongo is listed as week-to-week, so in goal will be the rarely tested Curtis Sanford who has back-to-back wins against the two teams who met in last years Stanley Cup Final the Pittsburgh Penguins and the eventual winner the Detroit Red Wings.
The Canucks have won their last four games and the Flames are coming off an offensive outburst against the LA Kings at home on Tuesday where they won 6-2.
The Flames have lost the first two games against the Canucks this season. They will be looking to test Curtis Sanford early. Mike Keenan seems to have his team playing a shoot at all costs game the last four games and expect no different on Thursday night. The Flames will need to fore-check hard and protect the crease. The Canucks love to get in the face of Kiprusoff. Iginla was held off the score sheet for the first two games these teams met, he will have to find a way to get away from Mattias Ohlund.
The Canucks will have to continue to keep Iginla off the score sheet. They need to protect their crease as well. The Flames have been shooting pucks like crazy the last few games. They will need to make sure to put traffic in front of Kiprusoff.
Both teams need to stay out of the penalty box. Expect lots of emotion and a great game.