Red-hot Canucks host last-place Avs

The Vancouver Canucks will try to match their longest winning streak of the season when they welcome the basement-dwelling Colorado Avalanche for Thursday's Northwest Division battle at Rogers Arena.

The Canucks, who are tied with Minnesota for the Northwest lead, have won five straight and another victory on Thursday would equal the club's six-game streak from Jan. 30 to Feb. 12.

Vancouver should have a strong chance at extending its winning streak, as the Canucks have won nine straight and 13 of their last 14 games against Colorado. The Canucks are 2-0 so far in the four-game season series and the Avalanche have lost seven in a row and nine of their last 10 at Rogers Arena.

After running the table during a recent three-game road trip, the Canucks returned home for Tuesday's low-scoring win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 1-0 shootout victory improved Vancouver's home record this season to 9-5-3.

Maxim Lapierre was the only one to find the back of the net on Tuesday, as his shootout goal lifted the Canucks to the close win over Columbus.

In a game where neither goaltender blinked, Lapierre finally got one through in the third round as he faked to the backhand and lifted the puck over Sergei Bobrovsky.

"I was going backhand all the way. I do it in practice and it works," Lapierre said. "I just closed my eyes and prayed and it worked."

Matt Calvert had the final chance for the Blue Jackets and tried to stick handle and get Cory Schneider to bite, but he lost control of the puck and Schneider easily turned it aside for the win.

Schneider made 17 stops for his third shutout of the year and seventh of his career for the Canucks, who also have won seven of their past nine.

Colorado, which is last in both the Northwest Division and Western Conference with 26 points, has lost three straight and seven of its last eight games.

The Avalanche suffered their third consecutive regulation loss on Wednesday, losing a 4-3 decision in Calgary against a Flames team that was without Jarome Iginla. Mike Cammalleri scored two second-period goals for Calgary on the night the Iginla era in Calgary ended.

Iginla had played 441 consecutive games before being a healthy scratch Wednesday night, and shortly after the game the Flames announced that they have traded their franchise icon and captain to Pittsburgh.

While Calgary lost its longtime franchise player for a first-round draft pick and a pair of college prospects, the Avalanche were busy losing their 10th straight road game. Ryan O'Reilly had a goal and an assist for Colorado, which fell to 0-7-3 in its last 10 as the guest

"We just got outplayed," Colorado coach Joe Sacco admitted. "We got beat to loose pucks, and they wanted it more than we did in the first period."

The Avs have a dreadful 2-11-3 road record this season