Minnesota (35-27-7) at Vancouver (45-16-9)

By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN, STATS Senior Writer Sunday, Mar 13, 2011 Puck Drop: 10:00 pm EDT Mon Mar 14, 2011

The Vancouver Canucks put to rest any notion that they were slumping by sweeping a five-game road trip.

They’ll return to Rogers Arena two wins shy of clinching the Northwest Division title as they try to maintain their recent home dominance of the Minnesota Wild on Monday night.

Vancouver (45-16-9) alternated wins and losses for a 12-game stretch before a road trip in which it won the final three games by one goal, including Saturday’s 4-3 victory over Calgary.

It’s not a surprise that this surge has been keyed by the Sedin brothers. Each built a five-game point streak during the trip, combining for 19.

Daniel had five goals and five assists, and leads the NHL with 89 points. Henrik had one goal and eight assists, and is third with 83.

“Before the trip, we were struggling putting pucks in the net, so it was nice to be able to score a few goals,” Daniel Sedin(notes) said.

The Canucks rallied from a 2-0 deficit Saturday. Daniel Sedin scored twice in the second period, including the game’s final tally with 16 seconds left in the period.

“(The twins are) such a threat out there every time, you kinda feel it that it’s going to happen sooner than later,” winger Alex Burrows said. “They made two big goals for us and that was the turning point right there.”

The Canucks have split their last eight home games, but they enter Monday with a five-game home win streak over Minnesota (35-27-7). These teams have split four meetings this season, with every one decided by at least three goals.

The Sedin brothers combined for six points in the first two meetings and none in the last two.

Roberto Luongo(notes) is 5-0-1 with a 2.15 goals-against average in his last six home starts against the Wild. He started three times on the road trip, getting some rest with the Canucks in control of the NHL’s best record.

Backup Cory Schneider(notes) has started three times against the Wild this season, going 2-1-0 with a 2.00 GAA. Schneider is 13-3-2 with a 2.23 GAA in 2010-11.

Either goalie would likely relish the chance to face the Wild, who have been shut out in consecutive games. Minnesota fell 4-0 at Nashville on Thursday and by the same score Friday at Dallas.

“No sugar-coating, it’s tough,” center Matt Cullen(notes) said. “This is going to be a good test for our team. We have to respond. We can’t sit here and complain and whine. It’s two tough games.”

Minnesota is in 11th place in the Western Conference, four points out of a playoff spot.

The Wild received two too-many-men penalties in the opening 6:38 on Friday. Those kinds of mistakes could be costly against a Vancouver team that has the league’s best power play at 24.8 percent, although it is 2 for 16 against Minnesota this season.

Cullen has two goals and two assists against the Canucks this season, but he hasn’t scored in his last 11 games.

The Wild could receive a boost with the possible returns of Cal Clutterbuck(notes) and Mikko Koivu(notes). Clutterbuck, who’s second on the team with 18 goals, has missed the last four games with an upper-body injury, while Koivu - second with 49 points - has missed 11 straight with a broken finger.

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Monday, Mar 14