Gameday preview: Canucks vs Penguins (December 4)

Nov 24, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Vancouver Canucks left wing Nils Hoglander (21) chases the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins center Jeff Carter (77) during the third period at PPG Paints Arena. The Pens won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 24, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Vancouver Canucks left wing Nils Hoglander (21) chases the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins center Jeff Carter (77) during the third period at PPG Paints Arena. The Pens won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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After a five-game Eastern road trip, the Vancouver Canucks return home to begin a six-game homestand.

First up is the Pittsburgh Penguins. These two teams last met on November 24 in Pittsburgh where the Penguins beat the Canucks 4-1. Pittsburgh is on a five-game road trip and they last played on Wednesday in Edmonton where they lost 5-2 to the Oilers. Vancouver is the third stop on the trip for the Penguins before they head to Seattle on Monday and Washington D.C. on Friday.

After wins against the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators, the Canucks will look for three straight wins which is something they have not done this season.

The Canucks held an optional skate on Saturday morning which 13 skaters and both goalies attended. They held a full practice on Friday and here is how they lined up.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson wasn’t at practice on Friday but he was at Saturday’s optional skate. Friday was apparently a maintenance day for him.

Travis Hamonic was called up from the Abbotsford Canucks on Friday but he was loaned back seven hours later. That caused some confusion but according to Canucks Army’s David Quadrelli, the decision was made because Hamonic has not played games recently.  Before the road trip, the Canucks sent him down to Abbotsford because he wasn’t considered a “fully vaccinated” individual by the NHL’s COVID-19 Protocols. However, he didn’t suit up for Abbotsford.

Hamonic was suppressed to join the team in Montreal and Ottawa but he wasn’t feeling well according to Travis Green.

On Saturday, Green confirmed Hamonic will play for Abbotsford  Saturday night against the San Jose Barracuda and will eventually be called back up to Vancouver.

“Just to get him a game,” said Green. “We were going to have a fast practice yesterday and wanted him to skate with our group, he’ll play tonight (in Abbotsford) then be back with us.”

“We need to play fast hockey, we’re a fast team,” said Ekman-Larsson on the game against Pittsburgh. “We’re a really good team when we are playing fast and that’s something we are going to need to do tonight.”

Thatcher Demko gets the start.

Players to watch

Penguins- Jake Guentzel- Guentzel always seems to score when he plays the Canucks. In 22 games this season, he has ten goals and ten assists.

Canucks- Conor GarlandGarland has four points in his last three games. He had two assists in Ottawa and scored in Montreal and in Boston.

Next. Abbotsford Canucks Check-in: Rempal, Dries, Di Guiseppe lead the way. dark

Puck drop is at 7:00 PM. You can watch the game on Hockey Night in Canada courtesy of Sportsnet and CBC. You can also listen to the game on Sportsnet 650.