The Canucks look to open the season with four straight road wins for the first time since 1993-94 on Monday when they visit Carolina, where they haven’t lost in nine years.
Vancouver (4-4-0) opened its four-game road trip with a 4-1 victory over Columbus on Sunday. The Canucks, who have outscored their opponents 13-6 in three road games, have not opened a season with four straight road victories since winning their first five away from Vancouver in 1993-94 - also the season of their last Stanley Cup finals appearance.
The Canucks managed to beat the Blue Jackets despite being outshot 14-0 in the second period, as goaltender Curtis Sanford made 35 saves in his first start of 2007-08.
“I don’t think we should have won the way we played,” said center Ryan Kesler, who scored his first two goals of the season. “It’s a funny game that way. They didn’t capitalize on some of their opportunities in the second and we capitalized on our few. That was the outcome.”
Starting goalie Roberto Luongo, who is 3-4-0 with a 3.15 goals-against average this season, stopped 36 shots in the Canucks’ only meeting with Carolina last year, a 4-3 overtime victory for Vancouver at home on Dec. 8.
Daniel Sedin scored the game-winner in that contest, giving him three goals and an assist in five career games versus Carolina.
Vancouver has won its last five meetings with the Hurricanes overall, and has two wins with one tie at Carolina since a 3-1 defeat on Oct. 20, 1998.
Markus Naslund, who scored his third goal of the season Sunday, has two goals and six assists during a six-game point streak against Carolina.
The Hurricanes (4-1-3) open a three-game homestand Monday after wrapping up a six-game road trip in disappointing fashion.
After winning three of the first four games of the trip, Carolina lost to Pittsburgh 4-3 in a shootout Friday, then fell 3-2 in overtime Saturday at Philadelphia.
“It’s a terrible way to end it,” said Justin Williams, who scored his third goal of the season Saturday. “Back-to-back overtime losses, which make it three on the year, and we’ve only played eight games. We’ve got to find ways to win these overtime games.”
Williams leads the Hurricanes with 11 points, and has three goals and six assists during a five-game point streak. He has a goal and four assists in four career games against the Canucks.
Center Eric Staal, who added his team-leading sixth goal, has a goal and an assist in two career games against Vancouver.
Carolina goaltender Cam Ward rested against the Flyers after going 4-0-2 with a 1.97 GAA in his first six games of the season. Ward made 21 saves in last year’s loss to the Canucks - his only career game against them.