NHL

Sun, Jan 2, 2011 - 8:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Canucks-Avalanche Preview

Share This Story

   
 

No team has been able to separate itself from the pack in the Northwest Division thus far, but the Vancouver Canucks appear very capable of doing that.

The Canucks look to win their fifth straight and extend their lead in the Northwest on Sunday night when they visit their closest pursuers - the Colorado Avalanche.

No team was sadder to see December end than the Canucks, who opened a six-point lead in the division with an 11-1-2 record during the month. The team's stellar play actually extends back into the previous month, as it started its current 13-1-2 run with a 4-2 victory over Colorado on Nov. 24.

Vancouver (23-8-5) capped a brilliant month with a 4-1 victory at Dallas on Friday night, getting power-play goals from Daniel and Henrik Sedin and 44 saves from backup Cory Schneider.

''Dallas was probably the better team overall for 60 minutes, but sometimes all you need is a good power play and a good goalie,'' Daniel Sedin said.

Schneider continued his quietly outstanding season, improving to 6-0-2 with a 2.38 goals-against average. He was backed up by Roberto Luongo, who rejoined his teammates Friday. Luongo had been with his wife, Gina, who gave birth to a boy, the couple's second child, on Wednesday in Florida.

"Some nights you need your goaltender to steal you a win, and that's what we got tonight, an outstanding performance from Schneids, who made the right saves at the right time,'' coach Alain Vigneault said. ''We needed him big tonight, and he came up big for us.''

Kevin Bieksa also had a power-play goal for the Canucks, whose top-ranked unit went 3 for 5 with the man advantage, and is 17 for 67 (25.3 percent) in the past 14 games.

Henrik Sedin's goal and assist gave him three and nine during a five-game point streak, while Daniel has four goals and five assists in his last five contests. Henrik leads the league with 40 assists.

Ryan Kesler's eight-game point streak was snapped Friday, but he could be poised to start a new run. Kesler has been instrumental in helping the Canucks win the first three meetings this season against the Avalanche, scoring one goal in each game.

Vancouver is 7-0-1 in the past eight matchups, outscoring Colorado 17-7 while posting three straight wins at the Pepsi Center.

The Avalanche (20-13-5) opened December with a 6-1-2 surge, but closed the month with a 1-3-1 record that included a 3-2 loss in Calgary on New Year's Eve. Daniel Winnik and Tomas Fleischmann scored in the third, but Colorado couldn't complete the comeback after allowing three second-period goals.

"We were pretty resilient there in the third period, but it wasn't enough,'' coach Joe Sacco said. ''It was a little bit too little, too late. At the end of the day it just wasn't good enough.''

Defense has been the biggest problem recently for Sacco's team which has allowed three goals or more in eight of the last nine games. Some of that blame rests with goaltender Craig Anderson, 1-3-0 with a 4.09 GAA in his last four starts. He is 2-8-1 with a 3.50 GAA against Vancouver.

Colorado will try to avoid its first four-game home losing streak since an 0-5-2 skid from March 19-April 12, 2009.

Tagged: Avalanche, Canucks, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Daniel Winnik

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt