Vancouver (14-9-2) at Detroit (16-4-4) 7:30 p.m. EST
DETROIT (Ticker) — The absence of goaltender Roberto Luongo has
started to catch up with the Vancouver Canucks.
They will look to snap a three-game losing streak without their
starting netminder and capture the season series against the
defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
Luongo has been sidelined since November 22 when he left a
contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins less than five minutes
into the opening period with a groin injury. Curtis Sanford
won in relief of Luongo against the Penguins and made 32 saves
in a 3-2 overtime win two nights later against Detroit.
But Sanford and Cory Schneider lost back-to-back contests in net
against Calgary before Sanford left Monday’s 3-2 loss to
Columbus in the first period due to back spasms.
The Canucks have a pair of overtime wins over the Red Wings,
with a 3-2 loss sandwiched between the victories.
After jumping to a 14-2-3 start, Detroit has stumbled lately,
going 2-2-1 in its last five contests. The Red Wings bounced
back from a season-worst 4-1 loss to Boston on Saturday with a
2-1 win over Anaheim on Monday.
Despite outshooting the Ducks, 47-16, it took a third-period
goal from Marion Hossa for the Red Wings to earn the win. Chris
Osgood won his second straight start as he has alternated starts
over the last eight games with Ty Conklin.