What's at stake
The Vancouver Canucks are coming off five days of rest since their last game, a 4-3 overtime win at home over the Colorado Avalanche. With a chunk of their defensive corps sidelined with injuries, the break allowed those players more time to recuperate, while the Canucks return to the ice looking for their third win in a row, which would be a season-high streak for the club in the early going of the 2010-11 season.
The schedule makers have not been so kind to the Devils. Their five-game Western Conference road trip could not have come at a more dire time for the team as Monday's trip to Rogers Arena marks New Jersey's third game in four nights — all the while battling the injury bug. After 12 games, the team has little to show for its trouble in the standings, sitting in the basement of the league with three wins and a mere seven points.
The Devils are one opposition goal shy of being doubled goal-for-goal over the season, and the loss of dynamic left wing Zach Parise during Saturday's game in Los Angeles hurts a lot more when other key injuries and the team's salary cap issues have also left them shorthanded.
By the numbers
New Jersey (3-8-1)
- Goals scored: 20
- Goals against: 39
- Current streak: 1L
- Goals scored: 24
- Goals against: 24
- Current streak: 2W
Puck drop: 10 p.m. ET
Rink: Rogers Arena
Head to head: Devils — Canucks
Players to watch
New Jersey — Ilya Kovalchuk
The touted free agent acquisition has gone through a bumpy ride to start the season with his newest team. Named a healthy scratch in one game last week, his stats indicate he's also having a tough time fitting into the scheme of things at his favoured end of the ice, recording only two shots and zero points in the last three games. You have to go back six contests to see the last time he was able to pick up a point.
Vancouver — Mason Raymond
It seems that as Raymond goes, so do the Canucks… at least over the past seven games. In the games he has been held off the score sheet, the team hasn't been able to win. In games where he registers at least a point, they've been victorious — including scoring the OT winner in their last match against Colorado.
New Jersey — Martin Brodeur
Looking to break out of the funk the team is mired in, Brodeur continues to see plenty of time in the New Jersey net. Appearing in all 12 of his team's games this year, the four-time Vezina Trophy winner leads the league in minutes played (670) and has a .907 save percentage to go with a 2.78 goals-against average (GAA). Two of his team's three wins have come while he has posted shutouts.
Vancouver — Roberto Luongo
After losing his four previous starts, the Canucks goalie rebounded by helping his team pick up the win in overtime over the visiting Avalanche. In seven games, Luongo has posted a 2-3-2 record to go with a 2.93 GAA and a .907 save percentage.
This is the only meeting in the regular season between the two teams this year. Last year, the Canucks took a 5-2 won over Brodeur and the Devils in New Jersey. Historically, Brodeur has lost six of his last seven games against the Canucks.
New Jersey — Zach Parise (lower-body), Brian Rolston (sports hernia), Bryce Salvador (concussion), Anssi Salmela (knee), Anton Volchenkov (broken nose/stiff neck), Mark Fraser (hand), Matthew Corrente (hand)
What they said
"I don't think [Kovalchuk struggling] has anything to do with the contract. I think it has to do with us not winning games. He wants to win and that's why he stayed here. That's where he's feeling the pressure. If anything, maybe he's trying too hard. We all have a job to do here and we all have a role we have to play. All of us need to pick up the slack when it's not going well for someone else." — Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner
"Louie gave us a chance to win, without a doubt. In the second half of the game, we turned the puck over, we got beat to loose pucks, we got beat one-on-one and they took the play to us. He gave us a chance to win on a lucky bounce at the end." — Canucks coach Alain Vigneault