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Panthers-Canucks Preview

AP - Sports

After a rare road win, the Florida Panthers will get a chance to post just their second victory in Vancouver on Tuesday night - and they may be catching the Canucks at just the right time.

Vancouver (11-8-3) has scored once in each of its four straight losses and is on the verge of dropping five in a row for the first time in nearly five years.

The Canucks ended a four-game trip by getting outscored 8-2 by Los Angeles and Anaheim before suffering a pair of 2-1 losses - one in overtime - to San Jose and Dallas to open a season-high six-game homestand.

Vancouver hasn't lost five consecutive games since an 0-5-3 skid Jan. 9-31, 2009, and frustration started to build after its latest defeat.

Henrik Sedin's second-period goal Sunday was waved off for "incidental contact" on Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen, but television replays appeared to show no contact between the players.

"It's a bad call. It's a made-up call," Sedin said. "If it's a 50-50 call, then I buy it. If it's a 40-60, I buy it. Even a 20-80 (call) ... tough to take."

Coach John Tortorella said he never got an explanation, but added the NHL needs to change how it reviews goals.

"I'm not going to whine about this and that. It's a huge call that was the wrong call, but doesn't determine the winning and losing of the hockey game," Tortorella said. "If you don't see it, don't call it.

"You have to be sure on that play and I just don't think they were sure. It was the wrong call."

Forward Ryan Kesler refused to blame the loss on the call since the Canucks put 43 shots on goal, their third-most of the season.

"We're professionals. We've got to start burying those chances. Really, enough's enough," he said. "We have to bear down and not get frustrated, but we have to capitalize. That's on us."

Vancouver went 0 for 3 with the man advantage and is among the worst teams in the NHL, converting at only 11.6 percent (8 for 69).

"I thought our team played hard," Tortorella said. "We just need to stay within ourselves and keep on playing and not get frustrated and not let it get to us.

"It's not about blowing things up, it's a matter of staying with it."

The Panthers blew things up when they fired coach Kevin Dineen after a 3-9-4 start, and following losses in their first two games under Peter Horachek, they've won two of three.

Florida (5-12-4) is in a stretch of playing eight of nine away from home and opened a season-high five-game trip with a 3-2 loss to Minnesota on Friday, its ninth straight on the road.

The Panthers, however, ended that skid Saturday with a 4-1 rout of Colorado as Tim Thomas had 32 saves for his 200th NHL victory. Brian Campbell had a goal and an assist, with his second-period score giving Florida its first two-goal advantage of the season.

"We haven't had the lead very often, but when we have had it we've played pretty well," Thomas said. "We play very composed with the lead and that's a good sign. It's been our goal at times this year. The last thing we need is to have problems in that area."

Brad Boyes, Tomas Kopecky and Jonathan Huberdeau also scored, and Tom Gilbert had three assists for the Panthers, who are 0-5-1 with five ties at Vancouver since winning 2-1 in their first visit March 7, 1994.

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