The Vancouver Canucks are atop the Northwest Division thanks in part to strong performances at Rogers Arena. That success has been muted lately, but a quick change could be coming.
The Canucks attempt to rebound from another home defeat when they face the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.
Vancouver (14-8-3) led the Western Conference with a 30-8-3 home record last season, and that success has carried into 2010-11 with an 8-3-1 mark.
The Canucks, though, have dropped three of five there after falling 3-2 to St. Louis on Sunday, halting a four-game overall winning streak that included a 3-0 win at Chicago two nights prior.
“If you look at our home record the past couple of years, I think it would be a safe statement to say that our guys are usually well prepared and individually ready to play,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “Why (Sunday) was different, you’d have to ask them.”
The Canucks have plenty of chances to reestablish themselves at Rogers Arena, as they play four of their next five there.
They’re 4-1-1 in their last six home games against the Ducks (14-13-3), but they lost 4-3 at Anaheim on Oct. 13 when Roberto Luongo(notes) squandered a third-period lead by giving up goals 1:18 apart to Corey Perry(notes) and Bobby Ryan(notes).
Luongo, who’s likely to be back in net, has won two of his last three home games with a 2.01 goals-against average despite Sunday’s defeat.
The left wing leads the Canucks with 14 goals and 31 points, but only four of the goals have come at home.
“It was a rough 24 hours there for a little bit, but I feel good,” Raymond said. “Still, energy levels aren’t quite where I want to be. The body was so empty I guess.”
The Ducks are 5-7-2 on the road, but they began a stretch of nine of 11 away from home in stunning fashion, as rookie Cam Fowler(notes) scored in the 10th round of the shootout to clinch a 3-2 win at Edmonton on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old defenseman’s first goal in the tiebreaker came after Anaheim squandered a two-goal lead midway through the third period following consecutive shutout losses.
“Any coach will take a win, it doesn’t matter how you get it,” coach Randy Carlyle said. “We’re not going to critique a win from our standpoint. After being shut out two games in a row, it was nice to get a couple.”
Teemu Selanne(notes) will try to continue contributing after getting a goal and an assist Tuesday. The left wing missed the previous two games with a groin injury, but has two goals and five assists in his last six games.
Selanne has 13 goals and 11 assists in his last 15 games against Vancouver, leading the Ducks to 11 wins while getting held without a point just once in that stretch.