By Jim Morris, Special to CBC Sports
VANCOUVER -- Knowing his team must generate more offence, coach Alain Vigneault will juggle his lineup in hopes the Vancouver Canucks can create more traffic in front of the net and score some "dirty goals" against the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.
Expect Derek Roy, obtained at the trade deadline from Dallas, to become the second-line centre for the crucial second game
of the NHL Western Conference quarter-final series
. Centre Ryan Kesler will shift to right wing while Chris Higgins will play the left side.
The top line of Henrik Sedin between twin brother Daniel and Alex Burrows will remain the same.
Vigneault wants to concentrate more talent on the top two units. He's not looking for the players to paint a masterpiece, just create more chances than the Canucks did in their 3-1 loss
to the Sharks in the opening game.
"That's the theme of the playoffs," said Kesler, who is suspected to have battled the flu in Game 1. "You have to get to the dirty areas, you have to score those dirty goals.
"With the lineup changes we have made, hopefully that will help us."
The move to wing isn't a huge adjustment for Kesler.
"It's hockey out there," he said. "I'm pretty used to it."
Vancouver's lone goal in Wednesday's opening game came during a wild scramble when San Jose's Raffi Torres actually knocked the puck into his own net. That's the type of chaos Vigneault hopes to produce more of.
"We need to do a much better job," said Vigneault. "It seems to be the type of goals that are scored in the NHL at this time.
"You have to want to go into those tough areas."
Daniel Sedin, who was a non-factor in the opening game, said the Canucks must control the puck more in the Sharks' zone. Vancouver had trouble maintaining pressure on the Sharks, and San Jose was able to break out of its own end with ease.
"We need more zone time," said Sedin. "Last game we got in on the forecheck and they got out pretty easy.
"We need more time in their end. That's going to tire them out and that's going to give us more scoring chances."
Vigneault also wants the Vancouver defence to offer more support to the offence.
"Our defence is one that has supported the attack, jumped up into the attack," he said. "We need to be better at that. Just like we need to be better at finding ways to get more shots through from the point."
The Canucks outshot San Jose 30-28 in the opening game but Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi got good looks at most of the pucks coming his way.
"I don't think we generated enough Grade A scoring chances," said defenceman Kevin Bieksa. "I'm talking about shots with the traffic in front and rebounds.
"We didn't play enough of that. I think you are going to see a lot more of us going harder. When you have a guy in front of the net it allows us to shoot the puck from all over the ice and it be a dangerous shot."
Vancouver's plans don't come as a surprise to the Sharks.
"Any time you lose a game in the playoffs you look at what you could have done more of," said defenceman Brad Stuart. "I'm sure they are thinking they could have had more people at the net.
"We have to be ready for that. We're expecting that for sure."
Roberto Luongo will be in goal as Vancouver tries to avoid dropping the first two games in the best-of-seven series.
No. 1 goaltender Cory Schneider skated Friday morning but is still sidelined with an undisclosed injury. Vigneault isn't even sure if Schneider will travel to San Jose for games Sunday and Tuesday.
Martin Havlat, who left early in Game 1, won't play for the Sharks. Also out are defenceman Jason Demers (sprained ankle) and centre Scott Gomez (general body soreness).
Replays show Havlat being hurt when taking a stick to the groin from Bieksa.
"I don't remember," Bieksa said when asked about the play.
The Canucks' other lines will have Max Lapierre playing between Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen, and Andrew Ebbett centring Zack Kassian and Dale Weise.
On defence, Dan Hamhuis will be paired with Jason Garrison, Bieksa with Alex Edler, and Andrew Alberts with rookie Frank Corrado.Follow Jim Morris on Twitter @jememorris.
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