The Vancouver Canucks are not making things easy for themselves, but they can ensure a winning road trip with a victory at the stumbling New Jersey Devils on Thursday night. It is the sixth stop on a season-long seven-game trek for the Canucks, who dug themselves out of another early hole by rallying for a 5-4 overtime win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday night. The Canucks have won three times when trailing by two goals, with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Devils on Oct. 8 included in that stretch.
New Jersey finally broke into the win column with a 4-0 drubbing over the New York Rangers on Saturday and was halfway home to another victory before unraveling in Columbus on Tuesday, giving up four straight goals in a 4-1 defeat. "You don't want to use words like frustration, but at some point we have to address what needs to be fixed and go out and execute," goaltender Cory Schneider said. Schneider gets another crack at his former team on Thursday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, RSN (Vancouver); MSG Plus (New Jersey)
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (6-4-1): Right wing Jannik Hansen suffered an upper-body injury in Tuesday's victory and has been sent back to Vancouver for further evaluation. His exit left the Canucks thin up front Tuesday after coach John Tortorella opted to scratch left wing David Booth, who has one goal and two assists through 10 games. "He's not doing enough to play," Tortorella said. "I am not going to get into a public conversation about him. That's how I feel about it right now."
ABOUT THE DEVILS (1-5-3): When New Jersey made a draft-day trade to acquire Schneider from Vancouver, the writing was on the wall that future Hall-of-Famer Martin Brodeur would eventually be yielding his starting job. Schneider is set to make his third consecutive start and, according to Brodeur, the move is permanent. “I think he’s in the net now to stay,” Brodeur said of Schneider. “I don’t see that’s going to change any time soon. ... We have to try and win some games somehow."
1. Canucks captain Henrik Sedin has three goals and four assists during a six-game point streak.
2. Devils captain Bryce Salvador is on bereavement leave but LW Patrik Elias (flu) is expected back after missing the last two games.
3. The Canucks owned the league's best penalty kill before giving up two power-play goals in four chances versus the Islanders. The Devils have scored with the man advantage in three straight contests.
PREDICTION: Devils 3, Canucks 2