NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, February 18th
(All times eastern)
Colorado Avalanche (28-26-4) at Vancouver Canucks (33-21-4), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks look to continue their recent winning
ways and also regain sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division
when they take the ice at General Motors Place tonight against the Colorado
The Canucks held a two-point advantage over second-place Calgary in the
competitive Northwest before the Flames came through with a 5-2 victory over
Colorado on Saturday. Minnesota currently sits just one point behind the co-
leaders in third.
Vancouver returns home fresh off a pair of hard-fought road victories over
Minnesota and Chicago and has won three in a row overall. After besting the
Wild in overtime during a key divisional clash on Wednesday, the Canucks
needed a shootout to put away the pesky Blackhawks two nights later.
Brendan Morrison and Trevor Linden, Vancouver's first two shooters during the
deciding phase, each beat Patrick Lalime to lift the Canucks to a 2-1 triumph
The Canucks prevailed thanks to a great outing from All-Star goaltender
Roberto Luongo, who made 34 saves in regulation and then stopped both skaters
he faced in the shootout.
Vancouver's Matt Cooke sent the contest into overtime when he scored with 9:33
remaining in the third period.
Following tonight's matchup, Vancouver will embark on a four-game road trip
beginning Tuesday in Anaheim.
The Avalanche rallied for a 7-5 victory over the Flames at the Saddledome on
Thursday, but Calgary got its revenge in last night's rematch. Kristian
Huselius racked up two goals and an assist to lead the host Flames.
Colorado's Paul Stastny had a goal to extend his scoring streak to seven
games. The young forward, who has amassed five goals and four assists over
that span, also needs just two points to tie Alex Tanguay's rookie club record
of 51 in a single season.
Two other Avalanche players, both of whom were instrumental in the team's win
on Thursday, also lengthened individual streaks. Captain Joe Sakic set up
Andrew Brunette's second-period goal and now notched a point in seven straight
contests (5 goals, 9 assists), while Milan Hejduk assisted on Stastny's score
to extend his run to six games (5 goals, 5 assists).
Hejduk had a hat trick in Thursday's triumph while Sakic added a pair of
goals, including the 600th of his brilliant career.
Colorado won the first three meetings between the Northwest foes this season
before the Canucks claimed a 2-1 win at General Motors Place on December 2.
The Avalanche are 7-2-2 in their last 11 games with Vancouver.
The home team has emerged victorious in 10 of the last 12 encounters in this
series, including seven of the last eight tilts.
02/18 10:52:37 ET