Not many teams will complain about non-regulation victories, but
even the NHL’s hottest squad seemingly needs to find something to
The Vancouver Canucks seek their seventh victory in eight games
and their sixth consecutive road win over the Calgary Flames on
Before beating Minnesota 5-2 on Thursday, Vancouver’s four
previous victories each came in overtime or a shootout. The Canucks
had last won in regulation Jan. 21, when they defeated San Jose
“It was great to get a regulation game and take some stress off
a few people,” said Cory Schneider, who made 22 saves. “Definitely
the way we want to play.”
Many teams would love the so-called stress of a 6-0-1 stretch,
though Northwest Division-leading Vancouver (34-15-5) has higher
standards for itself.
Henrik Sedin scored Thursday despite a sore foot, and his
brother, Daniel, notched a goal and an assist.
“After the Boston game (a 4-3 win Jan. 7) we had a lot of ups
and downs, mostly downs, but I thought tonight was a step in the
right direction,” Henrik Sedin told the team’s official website.
“It was our best game by far.”
The “downs” have been few, given the Canucks are 8-2-2 since
that contest. They trailed Minnesota by six points for the division
lead Dec. 11, though they’ve made a thorough turnaround to build a
comfortable lead in the Northwest over the Wild, Calgary and
The Flames (25-22-8) finished a 1-0-2 road trip Thursday with a
2-1 overtime loss to Phoenix, although they salvaged a point after
Olli Jokinen’s third-period goal. They allowed a power-play goal
with less than two minutes left in OT.
“There was a point here to be had, and we gave it away,” coach
Brent Sutter said. “We knew this game would be tough, and I’m proud
the way the guys battled back to tie it.”
Calgary fell two points back of the Coyotes for the eighth spot
in the crowded Western Conference playoff race.
“We just have to keep pushing,” Sutter said. “It’s all right
there for whoever wants it.”
Leland Irving made 33 saves in his first start since Jan. 5. His
only victory of the season came in a 3-1 win at Vancouver on Dec.
23 in the most recent meeting.
The Canucks had gone 10-0-2 in the previous 12 matchups, winning
5-1 on both Nov. 1 and Dec. 4.
The Flames have dropped five straight at home to Vancouver while
being outscored 24-9. Their last home victory in the series was a
5-3 win Oct. 16, 2009, with the help of Miikka Kiprusoff’s 26
Kiprusoff – 4-2-2 with a 1.71 goals-against average in his last
eight starts – likely will be back in net Saturday. He’s struggled
against the Canucks, though, going 2-8-0 with a 4.90 GAA in his
last 10 starts against them, including 0-4-0 with a 6.73 GAA at
home in that stretch.
Henrik Sedin played in his 553rd consecutive game Thursday,
which is the second-longest active streak in the league to Flames
defenseman Jay Bouwmeester’s 559 straight.