Canucks, Flames set to renew rivalry
Monday, 10.31.2011 / 5:49 PMCANUCKS (5-5-1) AT FLAMES (4-4-1)
This is the first of six meetings between these Northwest Division rivals. In six games last season, the Canucks were victorious five times as the Flames' lone victory came in a 4-3 shootout on Jan. 22.
It's always exciting when these Western Canadian foes meet, especially when they are within two points of each other in the division standings. This time they are each coming off of a win over the weekend.
So far this season, the Canucks have struggled to produce a lot offensively but that all changed on Saturday night when they played host to one of the hottest teams from the Eastern Conference – the Washington Capitals.
The Canucks found the back of the net seven times in that contest for a 7-4 victory. The newly found offensive prowess came from some unlikely sources as defenseman Alexander Edler
notched three points and Maxim Lapierre
and Chris Higgins
also each scored a pair of goals.
"We talked about playing more aggressive and keeping our team together all over the ice," Edler said. "It's nice to score seven goals in a game."
Prior to Saturday's victory the Canucks won two contests and lost two contests, so they will be looking for some consistency as they start a six-game road trip in Calgary on Tuesday night.
"It's so important to get scoring by committee," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "That's how you win on a consistent basis.”
The Flames are 2-2 in their last four games but they are hoping to grab their third straight win on Tuesday night against the Canucks.
The Flames' recent success has something to do with the standout play of rookie Roman Horak
, who notched his first NHL goal on Wednesday night as the Flames bested the Avalanche 4-2 – but he didn't stop there. Horak has tallied two points in each of his last two games.
"With every point and when you're getting more ice time, that gives you more confidence," Horak said. "Hockey is all about having that confidence so it feels great when you're out there and the coach trusts you to put you out there."
The Flames improved to 3-1-1 on their six-game homestand.
The brothers Sedin, Henrik and Daniel, lead the Canucks in point production with exactly 13 points each (4 goals and 9 assists apiece).
Injured Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome
(hand) and wing Steve Pinizzotto (shoulder) remained out, but are expected to return sometime during the upcoming road trip. … Mikael Backlund
(broken finger) is on IR.
Historically, the Flames have outscored the Canucks 934-856 in 271 meetings.
The Flames have dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen for two straight games, and won both of those contests.