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Struggling Canucks aim to continue mastery of Panthers
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Vancouver Canucks are in danger of posting their longest losing streak in nearly five years, so now seems like a good time for a visit from the Florida Panthers.
The Canucks try to avoid a fifth straight defeat overall and just their second at home all-time against the Panthers.
Vancouver has been held to a single goal during each game of its current 0-3-1 slide. That includes a setback in the first two of a six-game homestand, with the Canucks losing an overtime decision to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday prior to Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars.
Roberto Luongo had 21 saves and Henrik Sedin got the Canucks onto the board just over three minutes into the third period.
Sedin, though, also had a potential game-tying goal on the power play waived off near the midway point of the second period when it was ruled twin brother Daniel Sedin made incidental contract with Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen.
Though Canucks head coach John Tortorella said afterwards that no one play costs a team a game, it was a sequence he would have liked to have been reviewed.
"It's a big play in the game. I think we need to get the call right. If you can review that, I think you get the call right. But it's unreviewable," said Tortorella, who said he did not get an explanation of the call.
"All the crap we review, and they don't review an important thing like that. I just think that needs to change. It's the wrong call."
That leaves the Canucks in danger of their longest losing streak since an 0-5-3 skid from Jan. 9-31, 2009.
That makes this visit from the Panthers well timed. Florida has not won in Vancouver since its inaugural 1993-94 season, going 0-5-1 with five ties since.
The Canucks are also 8-1-1 with a pair of ties in their previous 12 meetings with the Panthers overall, though Florida did snap a three-game series losing streak with a 2-1 win at home in the most recent encounter on Jan. 9, 2012.
Luongo is 4-1-1 with a 1.79 goals against average in six career games versus the Panthers, who he played with for five seasons before getting traded to Vancouver ahead of the 2006-07 campaign.
The Panthers are looking to get rolling under interim head coach Peter Horachek, having gone 2-3-0 since he replaced a fired Kevin Dineen on Nov. 8. Florida defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 on Saturday, its second win in three games following an 0-5-4 slide and first on the road since its season- opener in Dallas on Oct. 3.
The club had gone 0-8-1 on the road following that victory, but got a goal from Brad Boyes in the first period on Saturday, one from Brian Campbell and Tomas Kopecky in the second and a fourth from Jonathan Huberdeau in the final frame.
Tim Thomas made 32 saves for his 200th career win and Tom Gilbert had three assists.
"We didn't commit many turnovers and we kept the puck deep in their zone," Gilbert said.
The Panthers will play the third of a five-game road trip tonight and could stay with Thomas in net. He has had success in his career versus the Canucks, going 3-1-0 with a 1.26 GAA in four regular-season meetings.
He also helped the Boston Bruins knock off the Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, notching a pair of shutouts and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy.
11/19 10:53:32 ET
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