Toronto (7-6-2) at Vancouver (12-4-2)

Sunny Currently: Vancouver, BC
Temp: 68° F
  • Game info: 10:00 pm EST Sat Nov 22, 2003
  • TV: CBC
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Vancouver Canucks look to remain the only Western Conference team without a home loss when they host a Toronto Maple Leafs club trying to avoid going winless on its six-game road trip.

Vancouver has opened a three-game homestand with overtime victories over the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks, improving to 9-0-1 at General Motors Place this season.

The Philadelphia Flyers are the league’s only other undefeated team at home (8-0-2).

In each of the last two games, the Canucks fell behind 2-0 only to see their strong corps of defensemen lead them back to victories.

Tuesday’s 5-4 win over Montreal saw the Canucks’ Ed Jovanovski tie the game in the third period before Mattias Ohlund scored in overtime.

In Thursday’s 3-2 win over Chicago, Jovanovski and Bryan Allen scored to knot the game at 2, and Sami Salo’s goal at 2:59 of the extra period gave the Canucks at least one point for the fourth straight game (2-0-0-2).

Vancouver defensemen have scored seven of the team’s eight goals in the last two games, and have combined for an NHL-best 18 goals and 51 points this season.

“They want an active ‘D’ and they want us to be active in the offense and get pucks through and get them on net,” said Allen, who tied Thursday’s game 5:59 into the third, becoming the last Canucks defenseman to score a goal this season.

Vancouver will be looking to extend its home unbeaten streak against a Toronto team that is 0-2-2-1 in the first five games of its trip.

The Maple Leafs suffered their second straight defeat on Thursday, falling 3-2 to the Edmonton Oilers.

“We’re still making too many mistakes,” Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin said. “We had turnovers and mistakes all over the ice. Bottom line, we’re not playing good enough to win hockey games. We have to pull out of this as a group.”

STANDINGS (through Nov. 20): Maple Leafs - 21 points, 2nd place, 7 PB, Northeast Division. Canucks - 28 points, 1st place, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Maple Leafs - Four with 5 goals; Sundin, 11 assists and 16 points; Wade Belak, 55 PIM. Canucks - Jason King, 10 goals; Markus Naslund, Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Sedin, 13 assists; Naslund, 20 points; Jovanovski, 39 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 20): Maple Leafs - Power play: 17.0 percent (17 for 100), 14th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.0 percent (85 for 105), 24th. Canucks - Power play: 17.9 percent (19 for 106), 9th. Penalty killing: 86.0 percent (74 for 86), 6th.

GOALTENDERS: Maple Leafs - Ed Belfour (5-8-3, 1 SO, 2.74 GAA); Mikael Tellqvist (2-0-2, 2.51). Canucks - Dan Cloutier (8-5-1, 2.05); Johan Hedberg (4-1-1, 1, 2.28).

2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Maple Leafs, 2-0-1.

LAST MEETING: March 15; Maple Leafs, 1-0. At Vancouver, British Columbia, Belfour made 23 saves and Owen Nolan scored on a power play in the final minute of the second period to lead Toronto.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Maple Leafs - 4-4-4-1 on the road; Canucks - 9-0-1-0 at home.

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