Can the Vancouver Canucks make it seven in a row?
After securing a convincing 6-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Monday night, the team will be looking to keep the momentum going just 24 hours later, facing off against Brady Tkachuk and the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.
With the victory on Monday night, the Canucks found themselves just five points back of Dallas for the second and final wild card spot in the Western Conference. More importantly and, quite frankly, more realistically, the Canucks also managed to close the gap within their division, bringing themselves within four points of the Los Angeles Kings for third place in the Pacific Division.
The Kings, who have one less game than Vancouver, are in action on Tuesday night, teeing us up for lots of excitement both on and off the ice.
Given the quick turnaround time between contests, the Canucks didn’t participate in a morning skate on Tuesday, but head coach Bruce Boudreau still did provide a few updates for his club, particularly between the pipes.
Of course, this decision has been discussed at length over the past few days, especially given Vancouver’s current lack-of-travel, as well as the critical importance of each and every game moving forward.
However, Boudreau mentioned that this decision had been finalized for a little while now, specifically pointing out what happened to the Nashville Predators in their current Central Division race.
Boudreau also took the time to speak on Alex Chiasson, who missed Monday’s contest with a non-COVID illness.
Chiasson had been red-hot for the team prior to that absence, notching six goals and four assists in seven games, and could be a valued addition to the top-nine forward group in the second half of their back-to-back.
Fortunately, the Senators are also in a very similar situation, coming off of a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Seattle Kraken on Monday night. During that contest, Ottawa gave up five powerplay opportunities to the Kraken, while also being outshot by a wide margin of 29-14.
Given their own quick turnaround, Ottawa will rely on Filip Gustavsson in the crease.
Gustavsson, who was recalled from the AHL on Saturday, has struggled mightily over his past five starts, posting a .838 SV% and 4.49 GAA during that span, which should hopefully bode well for the home team.
Tuesday’s contest will also mark the return of blueliner Travis Hamonic, who was dealt to the Senators at the trade deadline in exchange for a third round pick.
Hamonic is expected to play alongside another former Canuck in Michael Del Zotto on Ottawa’s first pairing.
Puck drop is set for 7:00pm PST at Rogers Arena.
What are your thoughts heading into Tuesday’s tilt against Ottawa? Let us know in the comments!