Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Colorado Avalanche Logo and Header
Colorado
Avalanche
44-31-7
Vancouver
Canucks
49-26-7
SO
30 SOG
20 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTsoT
COL ()
VAN ()
game preview

Avalanche-Canucks Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:15 AM

Associated Press

Share with your Friends


Avalanche-Canucks Preview
Colorado Avalanche vs. Vancouver Canucks

A short layoff may help recharge the Vancouver Canucks as they try to regain one of the top three playoff seeds in the Western Conference. The Colorado Avalanche, meanwhile, cannot afford to rest.

Vancouver faces off against Colorado at GM Place on Sunday night in the start of a home-and-home series that could have major playoff implications.

"For me those two games against Colorado, with the way the schedule seems to be right now, those are probably going to be the two games that will assure us of a playoff spot, or mean that we'll have to keep battling for that official playoff position," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said on the team's official Web site.

With 96 points, Vancouver (45-23-6) dropped to second place in the Northwest Division - and into a tie with Dallas and San Jose for fifth in the Western Conference - after Minnesota defeated Los Angeles 4-1 on Saturday.

The Canucks, who were idle, have two games in hand on the Wild, whom they will not face again in the regular season.

Sunday's matchup, though, is the first of three remaining games between Vancouver and Colorado. The division rivals meet again Tuesday night in Denver before closing out their season series on April 5 in Vancouver.

While the Canucks are vying for their second division title in three seasons, the Avalanche face an uphill climb as they try to extend their run of consecutive playoff appearances to 12. Colorado (38-29-7) is in ninth place in the West, five points behind eighth-place Calgary.

Both the Avalanche and Flames have eight games remaining, including an April 3 matchup in Calgary.

"Colorado still has a chance to be in it and they've been playing really well lately," Vigneault said. "All our games against them this year have been really hard-fought. They've been one of the best offensive teams in the league, even though they're really young, so hopefully we can play well against them and get them out of the equation."

The Canucks have won their last two matchups with the Avalanche after being held to just five goals in three losses, all in Denver. Vancouver, which has won its last four home meetings with Colorado, needs one win to match the single-season franchise record set in 1992-93.

On Wednesday night, Roberto Luongo stopped 20 shots for his fourth shutout of the season, and made first-period goals by Jan Bulis and Tommi Santala stand up in the Canucks' 2-0 win over West-leading Nashville.

"It was a really solid effort by every guy in this locker room tonight. We didn't give them much all night," said Luongo, who hasn't lost at home in regulation since Feb. 7, and has gone 8-0-1 with a 2.07 goals-against average since then.

Vancouver's Daniel Sedin has scored one goal in all four games he's played against Colorado this season. He leads the Canucks with 32 goals and 73 points. Twin brother Henrik Sedin is second with 70 points, with five coming against the Avs.

Colorado settled for a split of its two-game series in Edmonton after a 4-3 overtime loss on Friday that ended the Oilers' 12-game winless streak.

"I thought we played pretty good," Colorado captain Joe Sakic said. "We could have used the two points, with the race we are in, but I guess we'll take the one and move on."

Avs left wing Andrew Brunette has a goal and 10 assists during a seven-game point streak. He also leads Colorado in scoring versus Vancouver this season with four goals and six points.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 05 '07 COL 3 at VAN 1 M. Hejduk
Mar 27 '07 VAN 3 at COL 0 S. Salo
Mar 25 '07 COL 5 at VAN 4 - SO B. McLean
Feb 18 '07 COL 4 at VAN 5 B. Morrison
Dec 02 '06 COL 1 at VAN 2 T. Pyatt
Nov 25 '06 VAN 1 at COL 4 P. Stastny
Nov 04 '06 VAN 2 at COL 3 A. Brunette
Oct 08 '06 VAN 2 at COL 3 M. Svatos
ColoradoAvalanche.com is the official Web site of the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado Avalanche and ColoradoAvalanche.com are trademarks of Colorado Avalanche, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Colorado Avalanche Hockey Team, Inc. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.