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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, December 18th (All times eastern)

Washington Capitals (21-7-6) at Vancouver Canucks (19-15-0), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks continue an eight-game homestand tonight versus the Washington Capitals at General Motors Place.

The Canucks had won the first three games of the residency prior to Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the Ducks. The setback denied Vancouver a season-high fourth straight win and dropped the club to 13-5-0 at home this year.

Steve Bernier and Henrik Sedin both scored and Daniel Sedin added an assist. The Sedin brothers are both riding eight-game point streaks as Henrik has a goal and 14 assists on his run, while Daniel has posted six goals and seven helpers.

Roberto Luongo faced 34 shots, allowing three goals.

"We develop the same pattern; we don't come out, we don't play hard and all of a sudden we're trailing. We mount a push in the third and fall short," Luongo said.

Vancouver has still won five of its last seven at home and trails both Calgary and Colorado by six points for first place in the Northwest Division.

Meanwhile, the Capitals have split the first two contests of a four-game road trip that ends in Edmonton tomorrow night. After a three-goal setback at Toronto on Saturday, Washington skated to a 6-1 triumph over Colorado.

Facing his former club for the first time, Jose Theodore made 27 saves. He spent two-plus seasons with the Avalanche before signing with Washington as a free agent prior to the 2008-09 season.

"I didn't know what to expect," said Theodore. "I have a lot of great memories here. This is a tough building to play in, but tonight we played smart."

Tomas Fleischmann scored two goals, while David Steckel, Mike Knuble, Matt Bradley and Nicklas Backstrom also scored for Washington. The club has won eight of its last 10 games and is second in the NHL with 48 points, one back of Pittsburgh.

The Capitals also left Denver a tad upset after Colorado's David Koci drilled Washington defender Mike Green into the boards from behind. Green was left woozy and with a cut above his left eye, but could be in action tonight.

Washington has won five of its last seven on the road, where it is 11-5-3 this season.

The Capitals had lost five straight to the Canucks prior to last season's 5-1 home win. Washington has still lost two straight and four of its last five in Vancouver.

12/18 11:01:47 ET

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