|COL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|VAN||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
Each time the Vancouver Canucks take the ice at home, their collective confidence seems to grow a little more.
That's important even with the Colorado Avalanche coming to town.
The Canucks look to extend their home winning streak to nine games Sunday night while trying to avoid a ninth consecutive loss to their Northwest Division rivals.
After a pair of losses, Vancouver (35-23-9) opened a four-game homestand with a 4-2 win over Los Angeles on Friday. It was the Canucks' eighth straight victory - all in regulation - at GM Place since they went 0-6-3 from Dec. 30-Jan. 31.
"We've got a lot of confidence here," said Vancouver's Henrik Sedin, who scored twice in a 30-second span of the third period to break a 2-2 tie against the Kings.
The Canucks, who are fifth in the Western Conference and four points behind fourth-place Chicago, haven't won nine in a row at home since Nov. 6-Dec. 9, 1992. Vancouver has outscored its opponents 31-15 during its current run at home.
"Right now we feel good playing in front of our fans and playing at home," forward Alex Burrows told the Canucks' official Web site after he scored his 21st goal Friday. "I think we're playing well with the lead, I think that's the biggest key."
Continuing their home success, however, could be difficult against Colorado (31-37-1) as the teams meet in the first of their four match-ups during the final month of the regular season.
Vancouver is 0-5-3 against the Avalanche since beating them 2-1 at home on Nov. 9, 2007. The Canucks also are 0-2-2 at home versus Colorado since that victory and have a pair of shootout losses against the Avalanche this season.
Burrows, who has six goals in his last six games, has just one assist against the Avalanche in 2008-09.
Roberto Luongo made 24 saves Friday to improve to 25-9-6 with a 2.45 goals-against average. The Canucks' captain is 5-13-3 with a 3.11 GAA against the Avalanche and has lost his last seven starts versus them.
Colorado won 3-2 in overtime at Edmonton on Saturday to move one point ahead of Phoenix and out of last place in the West.
Defenseman John-Michael Liles scored 42 seconds into the extra session and added two assists for the Avalanche, which has won three of its last four after losing six straight.
"We're not looking at it as being spoilers right now, we're just looking to win as many games as we can," said Colorado coach Tony Granato, whose team hopes to win three in a row on the road for the first time since Feb. 2-9, 2008.
Peter Budaj made 18 saves in his fourth straight start to improve to 19-26-1 with a 2.89 GAA. Despite the back-to-back scenario, Budaj could be back in net. He is 4-3-0 with a 2.97 GAA against Vancouver and has won three straight against the Canucks.
Paul Stastny scored his 11th of the season Saturday and had three assists in the Avalanche's 5-4 home win over Vancouver on Dec. 7 in the teams' most recent meeting.
|Apr 11 '09||VAN 1 at COL 0 - OT||H. Sedin|
|Apr 05 '09||COL 4 at VAN 1||B. Guite|
|Mar 27 '09||VAN 4 at COL 1||D. Sedin|
|Mar 15 '09||COL 2 at VAN 4||T. Pyatt|
|Dec 07 '08||VAN 4 at COL 5 - SO||M. Svatos|
|Nov 12 '08||COL 2 at VAN 1 - SO||M. Svatos|