Miller, Canucks put shutout streak on the line in Detroit

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(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of clubs shooting for their fourth consecutive victories will meet Sunday afternoon in the Motor City, as the Detroit Red Wings host the Vancouver Canucks at Joe Louis Arena.

Detroit will aim for its first four-game winning streak of the season, while Vancouver is hoping to match its season-high in consecutive victories.

The Canucks, who won four straight from Oct. 26-Nov. 1, have been nearly impossible to score on during their current three-game streak. Vancouver's Ryan Miller surrendered one goal last Sunday in a 4-1 win over Chicago before recording consecutive shutouts against New Jersey and Columbus. Miller has won his last four starts and hasn't tasted defeat since surrendering five goals on Nov. 14 against Arizona.

Miller enters Sunday with a shutout streak of 152 minutes, 5 seconds and will get a chance to extend the scoreless stretch this afternoon. The 34-year- old American is off to a tremendous start in his first season with the Canucks, boasting a 15-3-0 record with a 2.32 goals against average and three shutouts.

However, the 2009-10 Vezina Trophy winner does not have good career numbers against Detroit, going 2-9-2 with a 3.37 GAA in 13 meetings with the Red Wings.

After making 20 saves in Tuesday's 2-0 home win over the Devils, Miller needed to stop 31 shots for his 32nd career shutout in Friday's 5-0 victory in Columbus. Despite his outstanding record so far with the Canucks, the goaltender feels like their is still room for improvement.

"I feel like I'm still trying to build the right kind of game to play with this team," Miller said after Friday's victory.

The win over the Blue Jackets came at the start of a seven-game road trip and pushed the Canucks' record away from Rogers Arena to 9-3-0. Vancouver has won its last three tests as the road team.

Chris Higgins scored what proved to be the game-winning goal late in the second period, while Henrik Sedin, Shawn Matthias, Brad Richardson and Alexandre Burrows each scored in the third to put the game away. Sedin's goal was the 199th of his career.

Miller made 12 of his 31 stops in the final period while his teammates were adding insurance goals. Higgins had a goal and an assist, and Nick Bonino assisted on three Vancouver goals.

Detroit, meanwhile, is coming off an impressive comeback victory in New Jersey, as Mike Babcock's team rallied from down 4-1 to earn Friday's 5-4 shootout win

New Jersey led 3-1 after 20 minutes and pushed the cushion to three goals when Mike Cammalleri scored on the power play just 28 seconds into the second period. Detroit, however, would cut the deficit to 4-3 by the end of the second and Drew Miller -- Ryan Miller's younger brother -- evened the score midway through the third period.

Gustav Nyquist later recorded the only goal of the shootout to give the Red Wings a remarkable comeback win.

Riley Sheahan, Xavier Ouellet and Justin Abdelkader also scored for the Red Wings, who won for the fifth time in seven games.

"We're a pretty good hockey club when we play with pace," said Babcock. "When we don't play with pace, we're not."

Petr Mrazek made 21 saves plus three more during the shootout in his second start of the season. No. 1 goalie Jimmy Howard will return to the crease today and he is 11-5-2 with a 2.52 GAA in his career against Vancouver.

The Red Wings haven't won four in a row since March 29-April 4 of last season, but Detroit is hoping to do so today by continuing its recent success against the Canucks.

Detroit has claimed two straight and four of the last five encounters with Vancouver and the Canucks have lost two in a row and three of four in Motown.

The Red Wings, who are 8-2-2 as the host this season, are beginning a four- game homestand today.