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Surging Canucks battle Preds in Music City

The Canucks can safely assume that points are going to come from the Sedin twins, but balanced scoring is what will make them a Stanley Cup contender.

Vancouver hopes to match its longest winning streak of the season this evening as it visits the Nashville Predators.

The Canucks sit atop the Northwest Division with 82 points, 17 up on the second-place Flames. Vancouver is also just two points behind Detroit for the most in the Western Conference and NHL, and has kept pace with the Red Wings thanks to a 13-game point streak.

Vancouver is 10-0-3 since its last regulation setback on Jan. 15 and that string includes four straight wins. That is the Canucks longest winning streak since early December and is one shy of the season-best five in a row they won from Nov. 20-29.

Five different players lit the lamp in Sunday's 5-2 win over Edmonton, including Henrik and Daniel Sedin. Each brother also notched an assist, giving the duo 12 points over the past two games. They combined for a goal and seven helpers in Saturday's 6-2 victory over Toronto.

Sami Salo, Kevin Bieksa and Chris Higgins also scored and Alexandre Burrows added a pair of assists for the Canucks, who are 25-0-0 when leading after two periods and won the opener of a six-game road trip. Vancouver logged its NHL- leading 20th road win of the season and is 6-0-1 in its past seven as the guest.

"You see the teams that are in the top of the standings, they have balanced scoring," said Higgins. "All four lines are chipping in at key times. It's certainly worked for us the last few games."

Roberto Luongo made 24 saves in the win over the Maple Leafs and earned a rest the following day. Capable backup Cory Schneider won his sixth decision in a row with 26 saves against the Leafs and has won 11 of his past 12 decisions. Schneider hasn't lost since Dec. 15.

"A lot of credit goes to my teammates," Schneider said. "They took care of things instead of me having to make big saves."

The Canucks will battle the Predators for the final time this season and have won three of the past four encounters overall. They claimed a 4-3 shootout when the clubs last met in Nashville on Feb. 7, winning for the seventh time in their last nine trips to the Music City.

The Sedin brothers have combined for four goals and eight assists in the three meetings this year.

The Predators are hoping to win two straight for the first time this month after logging a 3-2 victory at Dallas on Sunday. Colin Wilson had the game- winner late in the second period, while Gabriel Bourque and Shea Weber also scored. Pekka Rinne made 22 saves and assisted on Wilson's goal for a Preds club that had dropped four of five coming.

Nashville had been outscored 10-4 in losing its first two meetings with Dallas this season.

"I think we played more assertive tonight," Weber said. "The last couple times we played them, we let them dictate the play. Tonight we were all skating and controlled the play with our speed."

While Mike Fisher missed the game due to flu-like symptoms, defenseman Hal Gill made his Nashville debut after being acquired in a trade with Montreal on Friday and logged nearly 17 minutes of action. Fisher, meanwhile, is likely to return to action tonight.

Nashville, which owns a three-point edge for the fifth spot in the Western Conference, begins a string of four straight at home and has points in seven of its past eight as the host (7-0-1).