Canucks-Coyotes Preview


The Phoenix Coyotes seek to extend their longest win streak in two seasons when they return home Tuesday night. Waiting for them is an opponent that's given them trouble in the desert.

The Vancouver Canucks attempt to earn a fifth win in six visits to Phoenix while trying to deny the Coyotes a fifth consecutive victory and sixth in a row at home.

Phoenix (10-3-2) hasn't won five straight since the end of the 2011-12 regular season but is on the verge of accomplishing that feat after a 3-2 shootout victory at San Jose on Saturday.

Antoine Vermette scored his second goal in as many games and had the winner in the Coyotes' second shootout win in a row. Mike Smith made a season-high 48 saves while helping Phoenix kill off five of San Jose's six power plays.

"Two points, we'll put those in the bank, but there's a lot of areas that we're going to have to be better if we want to be the team we know we can be," said coach Dave Tippett, who earned a franchise-best 166th win. "I think we'll continue to grow as a team."

Tippett's club will try to continue that growth against a Vancouver team that's seeking a sixth win in seven games and season-high fourth in a row on the road.

The Canucks (10-5-1) bounced back from a 2-1 loss to Detroit on Wednesday with a 4-0 rout of visiting Toronto three days later. After signing identical four-year contract extensions, Daniel Sedin scored his fifth goal in six contests and Henrik Sedin extended his point streak to a career-high 11 games.

"It was a great performance from the first minute to the last,'' said Roberto Luongo, who stopped 21 shots in his second shutout of the season. "We really kept the puck in their zone and cycled and created some chances and were in there pretty much the whole game."

Vancouver is 4-0-1 in its last five visits to Phoenix, winning its most recent one there 2-1 on March 21.

The Coyotes, however, are 6-0-1 in Phoenix and their five straight home wins are the most since a run of seven from Feb. 4-28, 2012.

Daniel Sedin leads the Canucks with 90 goals since the start of the 2010-11 season, but hasn't scored one in 11 games against the Coyotes in that span.

Ryan Kesler has been more consistent with five goals and seven assists in his last 13 matchups.

Vermette has three goals and three assists in his last four games against Vancouver, and he might face Luongo for the first time since Phoenix's 5-4 win on March 14, 2012.

Former goaltender Cory Schneider was in net for all three matchups with the Coyotes in 2012-13. Smith posted a 1.51 goals-against average in those games for Phoenix but was forced to leave the home matchup in March with a head injury.