The 2013-14 Vancouver Canucks were the most offensively challenged group in team history, missing out on the playoffs for just the third time in 13 seasons.
They’re now scoring goals at a rate not seen by the franchise in nearly two decades.
They’ll look to continue their high-scoring ways and snap out of their recent struggles against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.
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The Canucks ranked 28th in the league in 2013-14 with 2.3 goals per game – their fewest in their 44-season existence. They finished fifth in the Pacific Division, failing to reach the postseason for just the third time since 2000-01.
Vancouver (6-3-0) has averaged 3.3 goals this season, its most since scoring 3.4 per game in 1995-96. The Canucks claimed a 4-1 home win over Carolina on Tuesday for their third four-goal performance in their last four games.
Third-liner Brad Richardson scored twice and fourth-liners Linden Vey and Jannik Hansen also found the back of the net, showcasing some depth for Vancouver that seemed to be lacking previously.
Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Radim Vrbata – who make up the club’s first line – each have 11 points and are a combined plus-six on the season. Henrik Sedin and Vrbata both own five-game point streaks.
"(Coach Willie Desjardins) is rolling four lines so we have to show up with something or they are not going to roll four lines," Richardson told the team’s official website. "I thought that was probably our best game as a line. It has to come every night. We can’t have (Henrik Sedin) and (Daniel Sedin) and (Radim Vrbata) getting the goals every night. We have to chip in."
Vancouver has lost six of seven meetings with Montreal, totaling eight goals in the defeats, and has also dropped three straight at home in the series after previously taking 10 of 11 there.
Carey Price owns a .959 save percentage while going 5-0-1 in six starts versus the Canucks since giving up seven goals in his first career start against them on Oct. 7, 2009.
Price continued his stellar play in a 2-1 win at Calgary on Tuesday, bailing out the Canadiens (8-2-0) as they were outshot 38-19. Price turned aside all three shootout attempts while P.A. Parenteau beat Jonas Hiller for the winner.
"Our guys were doing a great job of boxing guys out and letting me see the puck," Price said. "I can’t give enough credit to the guys that are battling in front of me."
Price has posted a .963 save percentage over his last four starts after compiling an .874 mark in his first four. The Canadiens weren’t able to capitalize on a 29-19 shots advantage at Edmonton a night earlier with Dustin Tokarski in net and Price getting a breather.
Tom Gilbert scored the lone regulation goal Tuesday for Montreal, which is tied with Anaheim for the most points in the league.
Ryan Miller stopped 29 shots for his 300th career victory Tuesday, improving to 6-1-0 with his new club. He’s 2-3-0 in his last five starts against the Canadiens, however, giving up three-plus goals four times.