The Vancouver Canucks are in position to set a franchise record
for consecutive road wins while the Nashville Predators are one of
the NHL’s hottest teams with six victories in a row overall.
The Canucks can notch the club record Tuesday night against a
Predators team closing in on its sixth playoff berth in seven
Vancouver (50-17-9) continues to boast the best record in the
NHL after its third straight win, 4-1 at Columbus on Sunday. The
Canucks matched their franchise-best eight-game road win streak set
Dec. 20, 2003-Jan. 13, 2004 despite being outshot 40-24 by the
lowly Blue Jackets.
“Just another ugly road win out there and they’re not all going
to be perfect,” defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. “I think a lot of
people forget there’s two teams on the ice sometimes and expect us
Nashville (41-25-10) is 8-1-0 in its last nine as it tries to
win seven straight for the first time since Nov. 12-25, 2009. The
Predators have moved into a fifth-place tie with Los Angeles in the
“Everybody’s contributing and that’s huge right now for us,”
coach Barry Trotz said. “Our big guys are playing big and our role
guys are playing out their role, and everybody’s doing the right
The Canucks have been using the stretch run to give Roberto
Luongo some time off. Backup Cory Schneider made 39 saves Sunday
for his sixth straight victory.
“It’s funny, you could even call him our most valuable player,
being the backup goalie,” Bieksa said. “He’s allowed us to give
Roberto a lot of days off and keep him fresh. It feels like he wins
every game when he’s in there.”
The Sedin brothers have seen their ice time reduced on this road
trip, with Henrik logging more than 18 minutes once and Daniel not
reaching that plateau in three games. Daniel Sedin is four points
shy of becoming the league’s first player to reach 100 this season
while Henrik is tied for second in the league with 89 points.
The brothers have combined for just one goal and two assists in
2010-11 against Nashville, which leads the season series 2-1-0.
Each game had four total goals or fewer, with the Predators going 0
for 9 on the power play and the Canucks 1 for 11.
Luongo started those three games, posting a 2.02 goals-against
average. Schneider has never faced the Predators.
Pekka Rinne had a 1.01 GAA while opposing Luongo in all three
meetings. He’s the only goalie to shut out the Canucks over the
last two months with 29 saves in a 3-0 win March 3.
Rinne has won five straight starts, making 34 saves in a 5-4 win
over Anaheim on Thursday and 28 in Saturday’s 4-2 victory over
The Ducks and Stars are among a group of teams chasing Nashville
for a playoff spot. The Predators want to make sure they remain in
“You’re always concerned about a letdown,” Trotz said. “It’s our
job as coaches and their job as players and in our leadership group
(to) make sure that the focus stays. Until we cross that finish
line, we have to be really good.”