Vancouver (16-12-0) at Carolina (5-17-5)

Cloudy Currently: Raleigh, NC
Temp: 65° F
  • Game info: 1:30 pm EST Sat Dec 5, 2009
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The Vancouver Canucks have dominated the first two opponents on their road trip. A meeting with the NHL-worst Carolina Hurricanes should enable them to keep up that strong play.

Vancouver looks for its third straight victory Saturday afternoon when it takes on a Carolina team trying to end another long losing streak.

The Canucks (16-12-0) had won four of six entering this four-game East Coast trip and opened it with a 5-2 victory over New Jersey on Wednesday night. They visited Philadelphia the following evening and came away with a 3-0 win, their third straight away from home after opening 3-8-0 on the road.

Roberto Luongo(notes) has led the way for Vancouver on the trip, stopping 65 of 67 shots. He made 38 saves against the Flyers, improving to 6-2-0 with a 1.88 goals-against average in his last eight starts.

“Our goaltender was on top of his game, and when he is on top of his game he is very tough to beat,” coach Alain Vigneault said.

On the offensive end, left wing Alex Burrows(notes) has two goals and an assist on the trip while left wing Daniel Sedin(notes) has scored once and added two assists. His twin brother, Henrik, has four assists in the two games.

“We think we’re a good team and good teams win on the road,” Vigneault said. “We came into two tough environments.”

Vancouver is 5-0-0 against Eastern Conference opponents and will now get to face Carolina, which owns the worst record in the NHL at 5-17-5.

Luongo has appeared in 27 games against the Hurricanes, going 10-13-1 with three ties and a 2.59 GAA. He beat Carolina 4-3 on Feb. 3 in the last meeting between these teams, helping the Canucks win for the sixth time in seven matchups. Luongo, however, has lost his last seven starts in Raleigh and is 1-10 with two ties there all-time.

The Hurricanes had a franchise-record 14-game skid from Oct. 10-Nov. 13 and are currently on a five-game slide. They enter this contest rested, having been idle since falling 3-2 at home to Washington on Monday night.

The time off appears to have benefited Carolina, as center Scott Walker(notes) and left wing Chad LaRose(notes) are expected to play Saturday.

Walker has missed eight straight games with an upper-body injury and LaRose has sat out the last two due to a lower-body injury.

Carolina, though, will be without defenseman Joe Corvo(notes), who is expected to be sidelined for at least eight weeks after his right leg was cut by a skate against the Capitals.

The Hurricanes also continue to play without starting goaltender Cam Ward(notes), out since suffering a severe laceration above his knee against Columbus on Nov. 7.

“We’ve battled injuries, but I think the bigger challenge for us is the number of players we’ve had in our lineup that aren’t 100 percent,” coach Paul Maurice told the Hurricanes’ official Web site Wednesday.

“We had the day off yesterday with the idea of putting as many guys out there as we could, and we still only have 13 skaters. We clearly have some issues that we’re tending to right now.”

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Saturday, Dec 5