The way the Sedins are playing, it hasn’t mattered which defensemen the Vancouver Canucks have used with the high-scoring brothers.
The Sedins will try to help the Canucks to a sixth straight win Wednesday night when they face the St. Louis Blues in their final home game until March 13.
Vancouver (32-18-2) is one of the hottest teams in the NHL, going 12-2-2 since Dec. 22 with Henrik and Daniel Sedin(notes) leading the way. Henrik has an NHL-high 76 points, with 32 in the last 16 games, while Daniel has 28 in that span.
“You gotta let those guys do their thing,” coach Alain Vigneault said.
The Canucks have won two straight despite three of their top four defensemen being injured, with unheralded players such as Brad Lukowich(notes), Aaron Rome(notes) and Nolan Baumgartner(notes) getting ice time.
Lukowich benefited from partnering with the Vancouver stars Monday, scoring the tiebreaking goal in the third period off a blind between-the-legs drop pass from Daniel Sedin in a 3-2 win over Buffalo.
Luongo has also contributed, posting a 2.00 goals-against average in the last 16 games. He has gone 9-3 with a 1.41 GAA in 12 home starts against the Blues (23-21-8), including two victories in the playoffs last season.
Vancouver has taken advantage of its home-heavy schedule, going 22-7-1 at GM Place and leading the NHL in home wins. The Canucks, though, won’t see home ice for a while after Wednesday’s game, as the Olympics will put them on the road for their next 14 contests.
It’s the longest stretch of road games in league history, with eight coming before the Olympics and six after.
First, they will face a St. Louis team that has done a good job of limiting the Sedins in going 2-0-1 against Vancouver this season. Henrik recorded two goals and one assist in those games, while Daniel played in two contests and had a goal and an assist in the last meeting.
Vancouver’s 16-game surge began after a 3-1 home loss to St. Louis on Dec. 20. David Backes(notes) scored twice for the Blues, who went on to beat Edmonton and Calgary to sweep three games in Western Canada on the same road trip for the first time.
“He did a phenomenal job for us,” coach Davis Payne said. “You win hockey games on the road, you win close games, you win in situations like that when your goaltender performs like that.”
The Blues are 6-4-2 since Payne took over for Andy Murray before a 6-3 loss to Chicago on Jan. 2. Murray’s last game was a 4-3 overtime defeat to Vancouver on Dec. 31 in which Christian Ehrhoff(notes) scored the winner.