ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS VS HENDERSON SILVER KNIGHTS SERIES PREVIEW
For the final times this season, Abbotsford and Henderson are set to square off in a pair of games in Nevada on Thursday and Saturday nights at The Dollar Loan Center.
The Canucks lead the season series 4-2-0-0, with their most recent matchups resulting in a pair of one goal victories at the beginning of January. Linus Karlsson and Phil Di Giuseppe scored the game winning goals for Abbotsford in that series, and are respectively leading the team in goals. Karlsson has tucked away 16 goals on the season, while Di Giuseppe is tied for the second most amount of goals (13), with Tristen Nielsen and Kyle Rau.
With Christian Wolanin currently in Vancouver, Justin Dowling leads the team in assists with 26, and second on the team in total points with 37. Linus Karlsson holds the team lead for that stat with 38 points scored this season.
Nils Höglander has registered 10 points across his last nine games, as well as a shootout winning goal in Colorado on February 25th. In Wednesday’s game against the Reign in Ontario, Höglander scored a pair of breakaway goals and set up Jack Rathbone for the game winning tally.
Abbotsford comes into this one having won back to back games and sitting in sole possession of third place in the Pacfic Divison with 66 points (31-19-2-2). Henderson are also riding a winning streak ahead of Thursday’s clash, picking up four consecutive victories, including three against the league-leading Calgary Wranglers.
The Silver Knights sit in ninth place in the Pacific Division with 45 points (20-29-0-5), and sit seven points back of Tucson who hold the final playoff spot in the Pacific.
Gemel Smith has been on a tear of late for Henderson, potting four goals and six total points across his last four appearances. Smith leads the team in assists (27) and points (44), while his 17 goals is good enough for second most on the team. That honour falls to Gage Quinney, who has tallied 20 times this season.
Jiri Patera has been a prominent figure in Henderson’s net this season, featuring in 26 of the team’s 54 games this season. With Laurent Brossoit, who usually completes the goaltending tandem, having recently been recalled to Vegas, expect Patera to carry the load against Abbotsford.
In the Canucks’ net, Spencer Martin has started all seven games since returning to Abbotsford, going 3-4-0-0 in that stretch. In the games where he made 30 or more saves, Martin is 3-1-0-0, carrying the workload in the crease. Backing up Martin in Ontario on Wednesday was AHL Goaltender of the Month for the month of February, Arturs Silovs. Silovs suited up for the first time for Abbotsford after making his NHL debut with Vancouver on February 15th.
Following the pair of games in Henderson, Abbotsford return home for a six game homestand, starting on March 7th. The Canucks face off with the Manitoba Moose on March 7th and 8th, before the Colorado Eagles come to town. The pair of games with the Eagles get underway on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Then it will be a week of rest for the team, followed by a rematch with the Ontario Reign on Friday March 17th and Saturday March 18th.
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