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The Canucks tied the Colorado Avalanche 1-1 on Thursday, giving them a 1-2-2 record in their last five home games. Ed Jovanovski scored in the third period for Vancouver, which went 9-0-1 in its first 10 home games this season.
Overall, the Canucks have gone just 1-3-3-1 in their last eight games. Nonetheless, they were pleased with their performance against the Avalanche, who were tied with the Canucks atop the Northwest Division heading into Saturday's games.
"I think these are the games you want to play," Vancouver forward Markus Naslund said Thursday. "They mean a whole lot, and they're a top team. I thought we rose to the challenge and played a lot better."
Teammate Brad May agreed that Vancouver might be shaking its recent slump.
"I'll tell you it was a good night," he said. "I don't think we're going to take any negatives out of this one. That's probably the best feeling we've had coming out of a game in some time."
Goalie Alex Auld, called up from Manitoba of the AHL on Tuesday, turned away 27 shots. Dan Cloutier, Vancouver's No. 1 goalie, injured his groin Tuesday and is listed as day-to-day.
The Hurricanes are coming off Thursday's 1-0 loss to the Calgary Flames -- their third defeat in five games (1-2-1-1).
Goalie Kevin Weekes made 30 saves for Carolina, which has lost eight of its last 10 road games.
"It was a great game and an entertaining game, but unfortunately we came out on the short end of it," Weekes said.
The Hurricanes, who are finishing up a four-game road trip, have been held to two or fewer goals in 10 of their last 12 games. They were shut out for the third time this season.