NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 2nd (All times eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (32-10-9) at Phoenix Coyotes (25-18-9), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks took over sole possession of the NHL's top seed last night and will aim for a fourth straight win when they visit the Phoenix Coyotes tonight at Jobing.com Arena.
The Canucks entered Tuesday's action tied with Philadelphia for the NHL lead with 71 points apiece, but Vancouver notched a 4-1 victory in Dallas, while the Flyers were blanked, 3-0, in Tampa.
Vancouver currently holds a seven-point edge over Detroit for the Western Conference lead and is 16 points ahead of second-place Minnesota in the Northwest Division.
The Canucks earned their third straight victory by downing the Stars at American Airlines Center on Tuesday. Mikael Samuelsson and Christian Ehrhoff both scored power-play goals in the second period to help Vancouver snap a two-game road skid. The Canucks are 15-7-4 on the road this season.
Ryan Kesler added a short-handed tally for the Canucks, while Daniel Sedin collected two assists and Cory Schneider made 25 saves.
Vancouver forward Alexandre Burrows posted an assist on Tuesday and has recorded a point in four straight games. His next point will be the 200th of his NHL career.
Phoenix, meanwhile, will try to bounce back this evening after blowing a 3-0 lead Tuesday in San Jose. Patrick Marleau netted the game-winning goal on a short-handed breakaway as the Sharks rallied to edge the Coyotes, 5-3.
San Jose scored its first goal of the game with eight seconds left in the second period and then notched four unanswered goals over the final 20 minutes to secure the win.
Radim Vrbata, Paul Bissonnette and Keith Yandle scored for the Coyotes, who saw their five-game road win streak halted. Ilya Bryzgalov allowed four goals on 37 shots in the loss.
"It was a huge disappointment to blow a 3-0 lead," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett. "We made a couple of critical errors that allowed them to get back in the game, and they took the momentum and ran with it."
Tonight's tilt marks the first of three straight on home ice for the Coyotes, who have dropped four straight in Glendale and are just 10-9-5 as the host this season.
The Canucks and Coyotes have met once this year when Phoenix notched a road victory on Nov. 21. The Coyotes have taken four of six and five of eight overall in the series and the Canucks have dropped three straight and four of five in Arizona.
02/02 11:18:00 ET