Busy weekend for Canucks

HOSEA CHEUNG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:27 AM ET

After winning their last two games, the 2-3 Canucks will try to reach .500 tonight when they take on the Flames in Calgary for the second time this season. After Cowtown, they return home Saturday to host another division rival, the Minnesota Wild.

Rookie Michael Grabner plays his first NHL game tonight. The Austrian forward will skate on the wing alongside Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows on the first line.

Although the Canucks will play three games in four nights, coach Alain Vigneault will likely keep goaltender Roberto Luongo in net for both matchups this weekend, instead of backup Andrew Raycroft.

With Sami Salo out of the lineup, Mikael Samuelsson will take his place on the point on the first unit powerplay, while Grabner replaces Samuelsson on the second unit wing. Vancouver's power play (36.8 per cent) ranked third overall in the NHL prior to Thursday's games.

The Flames got off to a strong 4-1 start to their season before losing their past two games, including one where they blew a 5-0 lead and lost 6-5 in overtime to Chicago. The Wild will go into Edmonton tonight with a three-game losing streak and are currently last in the conference with a 1-4 record.


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