After ending a lengthy losing streak with a win against a division leader, the Phoenix Coyotes will next try to beat an even more formidable one.
The Coyotes are badly in need of two more points Tuesday night when they host the league-leading Vancouver Canucks.
Phoenix (34-23-10) looked secure for a playoff berth prior to a five-game skid Feb. 23-March 3. A sixth loss in a row seemed likely Saturday before the Coyotes rallied from a three-goal deficit in the third period for a 5-4 shootout win over Central Division leader Detroit.
The Coyotes finished with a 36-26 advantage in shots on goal, and scored more than three times for the first time in eight games. They know a similar effort will be needed Tuesday.
“We’ve got a top team in Vancouver coming in,” coach Dave Tippett said. “We’ve gotta make sure that we use this as a springboard, and not just a springboard to winning, a springboard to how we want to play to be successful.”
Vancouver (42-16-9) continues to lead the NHL with 93 points, and has opened this five-game road trip with back-to-back victories after alternating wins and losses over its previous 12 games.
The Canucks totaled six goals in the four games prior to this trip, but Daniel Sedin(notes) has scored each of the last two games to take his West-leading point total to 81 and Hansen has three points in two games.
“We’re really starting to click again,” Hansen said. “For some reason, the points are really coming right now and goals are going in, where earlier it would be a post out or something.”
“I don’t think it’s anything serious,” coach Alain Vigneault said.
The Canucks continue to excel on the penalty kill, yielding one goal in opponents’ last 30 chances. Their power play is second in the league at 23.8 percent, but mired in a 1-for-18 slide.
Vancouver could break out against Phoenix, which has seen its penalty kill struggle while allowing 11 goals in 26 chances over the last six games.
“The only way this is going to turn around is if we stick together as a group and we make sure we put our hardest work in,” Tippett said. “And we got a couple breaks and we got a win.”
Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo(notes) may be back in goal after he rested while Cory Schneider(notes) picked up his first NHL shutout Sunday. Luongo is 3-5-0 despite a 2.12 goals-against average in his last eight starts.