Canucks roll into Calgary
The Canucks have been piling up the points lately and Vancouver will try to keep that trend going tonight, when it visits the Calgary Flames for a Northwest Division clash at the Saddledome.
The Canucks, who lead the division by 14 points over Colorado, have won three straight and have recorded at least a point in eight straight outings (6-0-2). Vancouver has suffered just two regulation losses during the 2012 calendar year, posting a 10-2-3 mark since the beginning of January.
Vancouver will also try to end a four-game road trip with a perfect 4-0 record tonight. The Canucks, who are three points behind Detroit for the top seed in the West and the NHL, have a league-best 19-9-1 record as the guest this season.
The Canucks were glad to have Henrik Sedin in the lineup for their last game and he scored a goal in Vancouver's 5-2 win in Minnesota. Sedin took a puck off his ankle in Tuesday's win over Nashville, but the Swedish forward was able to play in his 553rd consecutive game on Thursday. Only Calgary defenseman Jay Bouwmeester has a longer active iron man streak in the NHL.
"All Swedes are tough, right?" Vancouver defenseman and Sedin's countryman Alex Edler joked after the game. "Hank is a warrior, he's played with pain before and it was big of him."
Daniel Sedin had a goal and an assist in the win over the Wild, while Maxim Lapierre, Manny Malhotra and Ryan Kesler also scored for the Canucks. It was Vancouver's first regulation win since a 4-3 decision over San Jose on Jan. 21.
Cory Schneider had 22 saves to post the win for the Canucks, but Roberto Luongo expects to be back between the pipes tonight.
Henrik Sedin enters tonight on a five-game point streak, while Kesler has scored goals in five consecutive outings and has six tallies and one assist during a seven-game point streak.
The Flames are 2-0-2 so far in February and will try to use a brief two-game homestand to aid their push for the playoffs. Calgary is currently tied with Minnesota for the 11th seed in the West and is just two points out of a playoff spot.
Calgary ended a three-game road trip on Thursday with a 2-1 overtime setback in Phoenix. Shane Doan scored the game-winner in OT for the Coyotes.
Olli Jokinen tallied a goal and Leland Irving made 34 saves in what was the Flames' fourth loss in six games.
"We knew it wasn't going to be an easy game." Flames head coach Brent Sutter said. "It's a point you could of had that you let get away from you, but the positive is that you did get a point."
The Flames, who will also Toronto on Tuesday, are 14-8-2 as the host this season compared to an 11-14-6 mark on the road.
Calgary had lost five straight in the series with the Canucks before posting a 3-1 win in Vancouver the last time the clubs met on Dec. 23. The Canucks have still claimed five straight at the Saddledome.