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
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
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