NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 7th
(All times eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (26-14-4) at Vancouver Canucks (26-16-1), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The red-hot Vancouver Canucks have just one loss in their
last seven games, but tonight they face the club that dealt them that setback.
Vancouver will try to turn the tables on the Phoenix Coyotes tonight in a
matchup at General Motors Place.
The Canucks are in the midst of a 12-4-1 run since the start of December,
winning each of their last three games. They returned home on Tuesday after a
3-0-1 road trip, the lone loss on that swing coming in Phoenix on December 29.
Vancouver, tied for sixth in the Western Conference, hosted Columbus on
Tuesday, getting a hat trick from Alexandre Burrows in a 7-3 triumph. It
marked Burrows' second career hat trick and first since March 27, 2006. He
capped Tuesday's burst with a short-handed marker in the third period that
accounted for the final score.
Henrik Sedin notched a goal and two assists in the win to give him five goals
and nine assists over a seven-game point streak. He also has 30 points over
his last 17 games and is tied with San Jose's Joe Thornton for the most points
in the NHL with 58.
"Big win for us. First game coming back from a road trip," Sedin said. "They
[Columbus] got a lot of talent over there. We knew it was going to be a tough
Mikael Samuelsson also scored to give him three tallies and two assists over a
five-game point streak. Roberto Luongo made 30 saves for the Canucks, who
opened a four-game homestand and improved to 17-6-0 at home this year.
Vancouver has won three straight and seven of its last nine at home, something
that should worry Phoenix. Despite last week's home win over the Canucks, the
Coyotes' third in the last four meetings in this series, Phoenix is just
2-12-0 with a tie in its last 15 trips to Vancouver.
Lauri Korpikoski had the shootout winner for the Coyotes in the December 29
victory over the Canucks, but the second-year winger has just two goals in
regulation on the season. Both of those came in one game, a win over Dallas on
November 27, leaving him without a goal in 34 of his 35 games this year.
Phoenix's win over Vancouver is part of its current 7-2-2 run that has the
club fourth in the West with 56 points, seven back of San Jose for the most
in the Pacific Division.
The Coyotes escaped Edmonton Tuesday with a 5-4 win on Tuesday thanks to Shane
Doan's second goal of the game, a power-play marker 1:37 into overtime. Radim
Vrbata, Martin Hanzal and Petr Prucha also tallied, while goaltender Ilya
Bryzgalov made 38 saves.
The Coyotes led 4-2 and appeared to pad their margin to three in the third
frame, but Ed Jovanovski was ruled to have been in the crease and interfered
with Edmonton goaltender Jeff Deslauriers to nullify a goal. Edmonton
responded a short time later by scoring two goals in 49 seconds to tie the
game and force overtime.
"I just flared my leg out and [the puck] hit the inside of my leg," said
Jovanovski. I think it would've been a different game at 5-2, but we ended up
getting the two points anyway."
Vernon Fiddler returned for Phoenix after missing six of the last seven games
with a lower-body injury, while Jim Vandermeer was back in action after
missing four contests due to an upper-body issue. However, leading goal-scorer
Scottie Upshall missed the game with a lower-body injury and is day-to-day,
while Hanzal left the clash in the third period with an upper-body ailment.
01/07 11:04:39 ET