NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, March 21st
(All times eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (38-23-9) at Phoenix Coyotes (29-35-7), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The surging Vancouver Canucks will try to keep the pressure
on in the race for the Northwest Division crown when they visit the Phoenix
Coyotes for a battle at Jobing.com Arena.
Calgary once held a seemingly comfortable lead atop the Northwest, but the
Canucks have closed the gap considerably with their hot play over the last
month and a half. Vancouver comes into tonight just three points behind the
idle Flames for the division lead as well as the third seed in the Western
The Canucks have won four in a row and eight of their last 10 games. The club
has also put together a stellar 16-3-1 record since the start of February.
Vancouver posted all four of its victories on the current streak on home ice,
but will kick off a six-game road trip tonight. The Canucks are 16-12-5 as the
guest this year and have lost their last three road tests.
The Canucks notched their latest victory Thursday against visiting St. Louis.
Henrik Sedin registered a goal and an assist, and Roberto Luongo stopped all
30 shots he faced to earn his 44th career shutout as Vancouver blanked the
Blues, 3-0, at GM Place.
Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond also tallied for the Canucks, who added to
their franchise-record with their 11th straight home victory. They set the
club record with 10 wins in a row when they defeated Dallas 4-2 on Tuesday.
The Canucks have not lost in Vancouver since an overtime defeat to Minnesota
on January 31.
Luongo, who entered the game 11-2-1 with a 2.04 goals against average in his
previous 14 starts, recorded his sixth whitewash of the season.
The Coyotes, meanwhile, are 14th out of 15 teams in the Western Conference and
have managed just two wins in their last 11 games (2-7-2). However, Phoenix
has earned at least a point in two straight after beating San Jose on Tuesday
and losing to Anaheim in a shootout on Thursday.
Bobby Ryan scored the winner in the shootout as the Ducks edged the Coyotes,
3-2, at Jobing.com Arena.
Matthew Lombardi and Zbynek Michalek each had a goal for the Coyotes, who have
dropped six of their last seven.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 25 shots in the loss for Phoenix, which despite being
second from the bottom in the West is still only 12 points out of a playoff
The Coyotes are closing out a four-game homestand tonight and are 1-1-1 on the
residency so far. Phoenix is 18-14-3 as the host club this season.
Vancouver has taken two of three from the Coyotes this year and tonight's test
completes the season series between the clubs. The Canucks have won eight of
12 overall against the Coyotes and have also taken two of three and four of
the last six encounters in the desert.
03/21 10:55:01 ET