The Sports Network
1/11/2007 12:02:23 PM
A pair of teams carrying decidedly different streaks will square off this evening at General Motors Place, where the Vancouver Canucks will try to extend their impressive winning run against the road-challenged Minnesota Wild.
Vancouver has vaulted to the top of the competitive Northwest Division by winning their last seven games. The surging club kept up its winning ways on Sunday, when the Canucks outlasted the Florida Panthers in a shootout.
Josh Green ended the contest when he beat Panthers netminder Ed Belfour in the sixth round of the shootout, giving Vancouver a hard-fought 4-3 win. Markus Naslund had a goal and an assist in regulation, while Trevor Linden and Brendan Morrison also scored in the win.
Former Panther Roberto Luongo faced his ex-club and made 33 saves in regulation, then stopped five of six Florida skaters during the shootout. The standout goaltender was traded by the Panthers to Vancouver on the eve of the 2006 NHL draft.
Luongo, whose 24 wins this season trails only New Jersey's Martin Brodeur, was selected to start for the Western Conference squad in the upcoming All-Star Game earlier this week.
The Canucks will wrap up a four-game homestand tonight and have won eight straight games at GM Place. The franchise record for consecutive home wins is nine.
Vancouver, which is 15-7-0 at home for the season, begins a four-game road swing Saturday in Toronto.
Minnesota started its current four-game road trip with Tuesday's 3-0 loss to Calgary, the Wild's 11th consecutive defeat as the visitor.