The Vancouver Canucks are coming off possibly their most impressive win of the season. They hope this one immediately leads to more victories for a change.
Seeking back-to-back wins for the first time in nearly four weeks, Vancouver visits the slumping Calgary Flames as both teams continue eight-game stretches against Northwest Division foes.
The only time this season the Canucks (6-8-0) have won consecutive games was a home-and-home sweep of Edmonton from Oct. 12-13. They went on to lose their next two games, and did the same after their next two victories.
Vancouver hopes to break that trend after a 4-3 win at Colorado on Saturday in the first of eight straight games against division opponents. The Avalanche had been the last remaining Western Conference team without a home loss, having gone 6-0.
“We’re a good team, and we came in here and beat a team that is tough at home,” Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo said. “It’s a big confidence builder for us. We have a lot of divisional games this month, and we have to get as many games as we can.”
Daniel Sedin continued his strong start Saturday, scoring the eventual game-winner to finish with two goals and an assist. The left wing leads Vancouver with seven goals - three game-winners - and 14 points.
The Canucks have won four of five games in which Sedin has scored, compared to 2-7 when he doesn’t. He netted the overtime goal in Vancouver’s 4-3 win over Calgary on Oct. 6 - the Canucks’ third win in the last four meetings at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Sedin has six goals and 13 points in his last nine games against the Flames (6-6-3). He has been particularly good in his last seven trips to Calgary, with five goals and 12 points while netting two game-winners in Vancouver’s five victories during that span.
The Flames, meanwhile, are hoping to avoid a season-high fourth straight loss. All three defeats during this skid have been by 4-1 scores.
“He played really well for us,” Flames coach Mike Keenan said of Kiprusoff, who had 30 saves. “Pulling him had nothing to do with him.”
Kiprusoff has been beaten 11 times on 76 shots during the three-game slide for a 3.89 goals-against average. He is 3-3-2 with a 3.34 GAA in his last eight games against Vancouver.
Of Calgary’s three goals during the losing streak, Iginla has scored two and assisted on the other. He has nine points in his last six contests, giving him 22 on the season to rank among the league leaders.
Iginla has four assists in his last three games against Vancouver, but has been held without a goal in the last seven meetings. He has 20 goals and 47 points in 55 career games against the Canucks.