Unbeaten in December thanks in large part to their defensive
play, the Vancouver Canucks will look to keep rolling Tuesday night
when they face a Minnesota Wild team that’s still having trouble
Minnesota, though, defeated another powerful Western Conference
team its last time out and will try to run its home winning streak
to four as it looks to prevent Vancouver from winning a third
straight on the road.
The Canucks’ win streak reached seven with a 6-2 home victory
over Boston on Saturday. Despite the lopsided final score, coach
John Tortorella called a timeout and ripped into his team after it
gave up a 1-0 lead in the second period. Vancouver (20-10-5)
responded with five straight goals.
“That was 10 out of 10,” forward David Booth said of
Tortorella’s message. “He was fired up there and it got the guys
going. … That was a turning point for us and changed the outcome
of the game.”
Six players scored for the Canucks and 11 recorded at least a
“(Boston is) one of the best teams in the East, and I consider
us one of the best teams in the West,” Tortorella said. “Both teams
played hard. Those are the type of games you want to be in.”
Chris Higgins scored his 10th goal of the season and has seven
points during a five-game point streak.
The Canucks have killed off all 20 power plays during their win
streak to boost their league-best mark to 90.2 percent. They’ve
allowed eight total goals in the seven games.
The Wild (19-11-5) have scored three regulation goals in their
last three games and are averaging 2.20 for the season. However,
they generated just enough offense to defeat Colorado 2-1 in a
shootout Saturday to close a three-game trip.
Nino Niederreiter’s third-period goal sent the game to overtime
and Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu converted in the tiebreaker.
“After two periods, I’m thinking to myself, ‘Man, we look like
we have nothing in the tank. We look tired,'” coach Mike Yeo said.
“There were plays or decisions we made that are usually kind of a
result of fatigue. The way they stepped up in the third period, the
way they kept themselves in the game, the way they battled to give
ourselves a chance to score that goal – that was a big character
Minnesota’s home winning streak includes consecutive victories
over West powers Chicago and San Jose.
Josh Harding made 26 saves to improve his league-best
goals-against average to 1.49. He’s won four of his last five
starts, though he’s 2-4-0 with a 2.72 GAA in six career starts
against the Canucks.
Roberto Luongo made 39 saves against Boston and has gone 5-0-0
with a 1.19 GAA during the team’s winning streak. He’s 5-1-0 with a
1.01 GAA and three shutouts in his last six starts against the
Wild, though he lost 3-1 in the latest one March 18.
These teams split their four-game series last season with the
Wild winning the last two.