Canucks host Flames with chance to extend division lead

The Vancouver Canucks will try to extend their lead atop the Northwest Division when they host the lowly Calgary Flames in Saturday's clash at Rogers Arena.

The Canucks, who have won seven of their last nine games, enter Saturday with a two-point edge over idle Minnesota for the division lead. Both teams have 11 games remaining in the regular season.

Vancouver halted a two-game slide in its most recent outing, notching a 4-0 win over the visiting Edmonton Oilers. Henrik Sedin posted a goal and an assist and Cory Schneider recorded 23 saves for his fourth shutout of the season.

Kevin Bieksa, Chris Higgins and Zack Kassian also scored for the Canucks, who won the opener of a three-game homestand to improve their home record this season to 11-5-3.

"Tonight we were ready to go and stuck to our game plan and didn't give them a whole lot," Schneider said. "I was really happy with how our team played."

Derek Roy made his Canucks debut on Thursday and notched an assist. The veteran forward was acquired earlier this week from Dallas for a second-round draft pick and AHL defenseman Kevin Connauton.

Calgary enters Saturday having lost four straight in regulation and the struggling club has fallen 12 points out of a playoff spot in the West. The Flames lost a close one Friday night in San Jose, as Joe Pavelski scored the winner late in the third period to lift the Sharks took a 2-1 win.

Mikael Backlund scored the lone goal of the game for the Flames, who have lost 12 straight games on the road since beating Dallas on Feb. 17. Calgary is just 3-12-2 as the visiting team this season.

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 39 shots in Friday's loss.

Vancouver has taken two of three from the Flames this season and the Canucks have won 12 of 17 overall in the series. Calgary has lost three straight and five of its last six games at Rogers Arena.

The Flames and Canucks will complete their season series Wednesday in Calgary.