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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 24th (All times Eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (16-9-6) at Colorado Avalanche (11-15-4), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The streaking Vancouver Canucks will try to continue their mastery of the Colorado Avalanche when the clubs meet Sunday at Denver's Pepsi Center.
The Canucks have won three straight games, including the first two contests of a three-game road trip. Vancouver is coming off Saturday's 1-0 victory against the Los Angeles Kings, as Cory Schneider made 20 saves to stifle the defending Stanley Cup champions.
It was the second shutout of the season for Schneider and sixth of his career. Mason Raymond had the only goal of the contest for the Canucks, who won despite putting just 13 shots on net.
"Great all-around effort from everyone," said Schneider. "It was a hard game out there and our defense did a great job down low."
The win was Vancouver's third straight on the road and improved the club's away record this season to 8-4-3. The victory also allowed the Canucks to remain tied with Minnesota for first place in the Northwest Division. The Wild defeated San Jose on Saturday, but are not in action on Sunday.
The Canucks have dominated the series against the Avalanche in recent years, winning eight straight, 12 of 13 and 16 of their past 18 encounters. Vancouver also has claimed three in a row and seven of its last eight games in the Mile High City.
Vancouver's last two wins in the series have come via a shutout, including a 3-0 home triumph on Jan. 30. All told, the Avalanche enter Sunday with a scoreless streak of 153 minutes, 59 seconds in this series.
Both Schneider and Roberto Luongo have earned a shutout in the last two encounters with the Avs, but Luongo could get the call on Sunday with Vancouver playing on back-to-back days.
The Avalanche, who are tied for last in the Western Conference, enter Sunday having lost five of their last six games. Colorado dropped a 5-2 decision in Dallas on Saturday, as Derek Roy, Eric Nystrom and Jaromir Jagr each registered a goal and an assist for the Stars, who exacted a bit of payback for Wednesday's 4-3 setback in Denver.
Paul Stastny and PA Parenteau each scored once for the Avalanche, who have lost nine straight on the road.
"It's tough to put a finger on it," Colorado's Matt Duchene said of the team's road struggles. "We approach them the same way that we approach a home game. I don't know why we're struggling so much on the road. It's disappointing."
Semyon Varlamov allowed four goals on just 15 shots before being removed in the second period. Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 15-of-16 shots in relief.
The Avs are 9-5-1 as the home team in 2013 but the club will play four of five on the road after Sunday.
03/24 10:52:46 ET