RED WINGS @ CANUCKS
The Canucks blew a two-goal lead and lost 3-2 at home Thursday to the Los Angeles Kings, dropping to 1-1-1 in their post-Christmas litmus test against California teams. The Canucks are only 9-6-1 at Rogers Arena this season ... The Red Wings beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1 on New Year’s Eve and are opening a six-game, crosscontinent road trip. Detroit is 3-1 in its last four and might be leading the Eastern Conference, were it not 1-7 in shootouts.
The Red Wings went 2-for-4 on the power play and beat the Canucks 5-3 in Detroit on Nov. 30. Since then, Canuck penalty killing is 37-for-40. Detroit swept the teams’ two-game series last season when Vancouver was able to score only once in 120 minutes. LW Justin Abdelkader had two of the Red Wings’ four goals. The Canucks haven’t beaten the Wings in regulation time since Dec. 21, 2011.
Canuck first-liners LW Daniel Sedin, C Henrik Sedin and RW Radim Vrbata have combined for four goals and 15 points in five games. RW Alex Burrows, above, has 3-2-5 points in five. G Ryan Miller has played well in five straight, allowing only nine goals while going 3-1-1 ... Red Wings C Pavel Datsyuk is on a five-game points streak (1-4-5 points), LW Henrik Zetterberg has 4-3-7 points in six games, and RW Gustav Nyquist 1-5-6 points in four.
The Canucks’ second line continues to struggle. C Nick Bonino, above, and LW Chris Higgins each have two points in 13 games. RW Linden Vey hasn’t scored in 12 games and is coming out of the lineup. LW Shawn Matthias has one point in seven games since returning from injury, and D Kevin Bieksa has just six points in 36 games this season ... Red Wing RW Johan Franzen has one goal in 18 games.
Canuck RW Zack Kassian, above, is expected to play for the first time since breaking a finger on Nov. 25. He practised Friday beside C Brad Richardson and LW Shawn Matthias. LW Tom Sestito is on waivers. D Dan Hamhuis (leg) is out until the second half of this month ... Red Wing G Jonas Gustavson (shoulder) is out and D Jakub Kindl (elbow) is day-to-day.