Devils Jack Hughes, Canucks Quinn Hughes

Canucks Game Day 26: Hughes-Fest, VAN Home Cooking

Canucks Game Facts

This Evening: New Jersey Devils at Vancouver Canucks

Where: Rogers Arena

When: 7 pm pacific

TV/Radio: Sportsnet / AM 650

Key Factors:

Expected Starting goalies: Vitek Vanecek vs. Thatcher Demko

The goaltending disease that’s affected the Philadelphia Flyers for decades is apparently airborne. It hopped the Delaware River, made it’s way up the New Jersey Turnpike and has dug in at the Prudential Center.

The Devils outshot the lowly San Jose Sharks 47-18 on Friday night at home, only to lose 6-3 while giving up all even strength goals. The Sharks didn’t have a power play in the game.

23-year-old Swiss goalie Akira Schmid took the loss, one night after he made 44 saves in an OT win against those Flyers.

It’s the inconsistency that’s driving the Devils nuts.

Vanecek, the 27-year-old Czech, appeared to be the answer last year with 33 wins, one season after New Jersey went through seven goalies. So far this campaign he sports an ugly .879 save percentage.

The Canucks are in great shape at the other end with Demko.

Meanwhile, it’s Hughes night at Rogers Arena, with all three brothers participating in the same game for the first time: Captain Quinn for the Canucks and centre Jack and rookie D-man Luke for the Devils.

Surprisingly, theirs is the ninth family to have three brothers play in the same NHL game, the latest being Marc, Eric, and Jordan Staal last April.

Vancouver has the fourth most points (33) in the overall NHL standings and own an 8-2-and-1 mark on home ice.

The Devils feature the NHL’s top power play with an astounding 36% success rate overall.

New Jersey is without number-one D-man Dougie Hamilton (upper) and winger Tomas Nosek (lower) who have both recently undergone surgeries.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

Jack Hughes had a goal and two assists in the OT win in Philly, one of the helpers coming on Luke’s game winner. Jack added his 9th goal of the season against the Sharks and has eight points over his last four games.

Jack leads the Devils with 30 points, four more than teammate Jesper Bratt, and finds himself tenth on the NHL leader board. Luke is the leading scorer among rookie NHL defenceman with 14 points, six less than overall leading 1st-year scorer Connor Bedard of North Vancouver and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Canucks forwards Sam Lafferty, Elias Pettersson, and Ilya Mikheyev all had a goal and an assist in Calgary while D-man Filip Hronek added two assists. The 26-year-old Czech righty has seven points over his last six games and is tied for 3rd in scoring (25 points) among NHL blueliners. He trails Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche and his teammate “Huggy”, who both have 34.

27-year-old winger Conor Garland has just two points in his last ten games and only seven on the season.

Special Teams

The 36% success rate on the man advantage puts New Jersey in the top spot in league PP rankings, a full 5% higher than the next-best Tampa Bay Lightning. The Devils went 1-for-2 in their last game.

Their penalty kill is tied for 22nd in the NHL at a very sub-par 75%.

The Canucks overall power play has slipped a bit to a 27.5% success rate on the season, still good for fourth best in the NHL. They went 0-for-4 in Calgary while giving up two power play goals on five chances for the Flames.

The Vancouver penalty kill is tied with the Devils at 75%.

Coming In:

Devils: 11-10-and-1 after losing at home to the San Jose Sharks 6-3 on Friday.

Canucks: 16-8-and-1 following a 4-3 win over the Flames in Calgary on Saturday night.

ICYMI Canucks:

— The Hugeness Of The Canucks Bo Horvat Trade

— By NHL Standards, Canucks Tocchet As Honest As They Come

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.