|TOR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|VAN||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
Though the Vancouver Canucks have limited their opponents' scoring chances lately, one of the league's top offenses will present a challenge.
The Canucks conclude their season-high six-game homestand with a matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
Vancouver (9-6-1) allowed 29 goals in losing five of its first nine games but has clamped down in the seven games since, surrendering only 11 while going 5-1-1.
Roberto Luongo has helped key that success, compiling a 1.41 goals-against average with four shutouts and a .951 save percentage during the hot streak.
On Wednesday, though, Luongo had his franchise-record shutout streak snapped at 242 minutes, 36 seconds as Colorado's Marek Svatos scored at the 1:28 mark of the third period. Vancouver went on to lose 2-1 in a shootout.
Luongo, who finished with 33 saves before allowing two of three shootout attempts to score, easily eclipsed his personal record - and the previous team-high mark - of 210 minutes, 34 seconds - that he set over five games from Nov. 23-Dec. 2 last season.
Vancouver was outshot for the first time in five games, fell to 3-1-1 on its six-game homestand and had its three-game winning streak snapped.
"I think we have to tighten up a little bit in our own zone, and like I said earlier, we're giving up too many quality chances in front of Roberto," winger Taylor Pyatt, who scored on a penalty shot, told the Canucks' official Web site. "It wasn't our best game, but we'll regroup and be ready for Saturday."
They'll need to be ready against a Toronto team that ranks among the league leaders with 55 goals. Luongo is 3-3-0 with a tie, a 2.37 GAA and a .927 save percentage in his last seven starts versus the Maple Leafs (7-6-4).
Toronto has scored 25 goals over its last six games, but has also allowed 25 and is 2-3-1 during that stretch.
Tomas Kaberle had a goal and two assists Thursday, while Nikolai Kulemin, Nik Antropov, Ian White and Mikhail Grabovski each scored a goal to lead the Maple Leafs to a 5-2 victory at Edmonton - two nights after failing to overcome a three-goal deficit in a 4-3 loss to Calgary.
"For us, coming off of Calgary we wanted to establish something early (Thursday night) and in Calgary the last game they handed it to us pretty good," said center Matt Stajan, who had three assists to extend his point streak to five games (one goal, eight assists). "We wanted to make sure that we're ready to go and obviously we've got to be physical, too."
Toronto has been excellent on the power play lately, converting three of four attempts versus Edmonton and seven of 17 over its last three games. The Leafs will be challenged by a Canucks penalty-killing unit that has turned aside 15 of 16 chances in its last four games.
These clubs haven't met since Jan. 13, 2007, a 6-1 Canucks victory at Toronto. Vancouver, which has won the last two matchups with the Maple Leafs after losing the previous three, now seeks to win three straight in the series for the first time since Feb. 26-Nov. 29, 1990.
Grabovski has scored seven of his team-leading eight goals during his current six-game point streak, also adding three assists during the run.
|Feb 21 '09||VAN 3 at TOR 2 - SO||M. Sundin|
|Nov 15 '08||TOR 2 at VAN 4||W. Mitchell|
|M. Van Ryn||14||3||5||8||+1||6||2||0|