NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 3rd (All times eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (21-10-6-2) at Calgary Flames (19-11-3-3), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - For the second straight night the Vancouver Canucks face a club chasing them in the Northwest Division race, as they'll visit the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.
The Canucks hope, however, that this evening goes a bit better than Friday, when they dropped a 4-2 home contest to Colorado. With 50 points, Vancouver is now four ahead of the Avs, and six up on the third-place Flames.
Colorado scored twice in the latter half of the third period to provide the final margin. Markus Naslund and Brad May tallied for the Canucks and Dan Cloutier stopped 29-of-33 shots, as Vancouver lost for just the second time in seven games (4-2-1). The Canucks trail Detroit and Philadelphia by three points for the NHL's best overall record.
Naslund netted his 19th goal of the season, and has contributed four scores and four assists in the last nine games.
Vancouver, 7-1-1 in its last nine away tilts, will host San Jose on Monday.
Calgary, meanwhile, is 6-2-2 in its last 10 games, but fell, 2-1, to visiting Colorado on Wednesday. Rhett Warrener scored for the Flames, who are winless in their last two (0-1-1) and suffered only their third regulation loss in the last 21 games (13-3-3-2).
Goaltender Jamie McLennan, starting in place of the injured Miikka Kiprusoff (knee), made 27 saves in the setback. It was only McLennan's third appearance since November 18, as Kiprusoff had taken a pretty firm hold on the starting job before going down earlier this week.
The Flames, 5-2-3 in their last 10 home matches, will visit the NY Rangers on Monday.
Calgary is 2-1-1 against Vancouver this season, but the road team is 9-1-3 in the last 13 meetings. The Canucks are unbeaten in their last eight trips to the Saddledome (6-0-2).
01/03 10:39:50 ET