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The Sports Network
1/5/2007 11:46:43 AM


(Sports Network) - The NHL's hottest club, the Vancouver Canucks, take aim at a sixth consecutive victory tonight when they host the Edmonton Oilers in a Northwest Division battle from General Motors Place.

Vancouver extended its longest win streak of the season with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Dallas on Wednesday. Ryan Kesler netted the deciding goal in the sixth round of the shootout phase and Roberto Luongo gave the Canucks a sensational performance in goal.

Luongo stopped 39 of 40 shots in regulation and made five more saves in the shootout. The standout netminder has now won five consecutive starts and yielded two or less goals in four of those outings.

Wednesday's triumph was the opener of a four-game homestand for Vancouver, which has won six straight at GM Place and owns a 13-7-0 record on home ice this season.

The Canucks, who have vaulted into first place in the tightly-packed Northwest with this recent surge, last won six consecutive games from October 14-25, 2005. Vancouver currently holds a one-point edge on Calgary and Minnesota.

Edmonton is just four points back of the Canucks but has been struggling mightily as of late. The Oilers fell for the fifth time in six games after coming up short in a wild 6-5 shootout loss to Dallas on Thursday.

The Stars rallied from a 4-2 deficit with three third-period goals in under a five-minute span. Dallas appeared to have put the game away when Patrik Stefan skated in all alone towards an empty Edmonton net in the final seconds, but he failed to score on the easy chance.

The Oilers took advantage of the blunder and sent the game into overtime when Ales Hemsky beat Dallas goaltender Marty Turco with just two seconds remaining in the third period.

Ryan Smyth tallied a goal and three assists for Edmonton, while Shawn Horcroff and Joffrey Lupul also scored in the tough loss.

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