|VAN||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|COL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
A new top line has given the Vancouver Canucks an early season spark.
The Canucks look to open their season with three consecutive victories for the first time this decade when they visit the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.
Vancouver (2-0-0) has paired Markus Naslund with Daniel and Henrik Sedin in its first two games, and the trio has combined for eight points. The Canucks won 3-1 at Detroit on Thursday and 3-2 in overtime at Columbus the following night.
Daniel Sedin scored twice on Friday and was assisted by his twin brother on both goals, including the game-winner. Henrik tried a wraparound that was blocked, but the rebound came right to Daniel, who put it in the net 31 seconds into the extra period.
"It was a great play by him," Daniel said with a grin. "I had an open net. It's not that hard."
Naslund, who scored a power-play goal against the Red Wings, recorded an assist on Daniel's game-tying goal in the third period Friday.
"It's a little more cycling," Daniel said. "Both Hank and I have to go to the net a little more than last year. It's a little bit of an adjustment from last year, but it's a work in progress."
The Canucks won Thursday despite putting just 17 shots on goal, but took 44 shots against the Blue Jackets. Last season, Vancouver ranked 22nd in the NHL with 28.8 shots per game.
"We've been talking about shooting a lot. Every game," Daniel said. "The last two periods, we really worked hard. We got shots on the net."
This is the third time this decade Vancouver has opened with back-to-back wins, but the team hasn't won three straight to begin a season since 1999-00.
Goalie Roberto Luongo, acquired in a five-player trade with Florida in June, has stopped 48 of the 51 shots he has seen through two games.
The Canucks, who close a season-opening four-game road trip at Minnesota on Tuesday, are playing nine of their first 11 games away from home.
Vancouver will try to keep its offense in gear against the Avalanche (0-0-2), who have allowed 33 shots in each of their first two games. Colorado's defense is struggling without Rob Blake, who signed with Los Angeles in the offseason, and Jordan Leopold, who likely will be on the injured list for another month with a hernia.
Colorado dropped its season opener against Dallas 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday, and fell 3-2 in overtime to Minnesota the next day.
"I don't think it's all negative," said Brad Richardson, who scored twice against the Wild. "We played pretty well both games. We had a couple letups here and there, but those are two good teams. We just need to focus and play a 60-minute game, and I think we'll be fine."
The Avalanche are off to their worst start since opening the 1998-99 season with four straight losses.
John-Michael Liles, who has two assists, is the only Colorado player besides Richardson with more than one point, though the Avalanche have taken 69 shots through two games.
Vancouver went 4-3-1 against its Northwest Division rival last season and won the final three meetings. Brendan Morrison had five goals and three assists against the Avalanche in the eight games.
Colorado's Joe Sakic had five goals and five assists in the season series.
|Apr 05 '07||COL 3 at VAN 1|
|Mar 27 '07||VAN 3 at COL 0|
|Mar 25 '07||COL 5 at VAN 4 - SO|
|Feb 18 '07||COL 4 at VAN 5|
|Dec 02 '06||COL 1 at VAN 2|
|Nov 25 '06||VAN 1 at COL 4|
|Nov 04 '06||VAN 2 at COL 3|
|Oct 08 '06||VAN 2 at COL 3|