CANUCKS (10-9-1) at AVALANCHE (9-11-1)
TV: SNET-Pacific (HD), ALTITUDE (HD)
Last 10: Vancouver 6-4-1; Colorado 2-7-1
Season Series: This is the first of six meetings between the Northwest Division rivals. Vancouver has dominated the series since 2009, getting at least a point in the past 11 meetings (9-0-2).
Big story: The Canucks begin a three-game road swing at the Pepsi Center, where Colorado is just 3-7-0 with only 18 goals scored. Vancouver - typically an offensive juggernaut - has endured some recent offensive woes of its own, scoring just three goals in the past two games.
Canucks: Starter Roberto Luongo is out with an undisclosed upper-body injury, but Cory Schneider performed well in Sunday's 2-1 overtime win against Ottawa. With 28 saves - including two on breakaways and another from point-blank range in the extra period -- Schneider won for the first time since Oct. 22.
"We needed one of our goaltenders to come in and steal us a game where it wasn't pretty and that's what Schneids did tonight," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "To win in this League and in a consistent fashion you need great goaltending. ... I thought Schneids was our best player on the ice."
Avalanche: Despite encouraging shot totals, Colorado just can't find the back of the net on its home ice. In Sunday's 4-1 loss to San Jose, the Avs outshot the Sharks 37-18 but had just one goal to show for their efforts. As they go into the third game of a season-long eight-game homestand, the Avs must act soon to remedy their home-ice woes. Coach Joe Sacco said one solution would be cleaning up mental mistakes. Opponents have enjoyed 15 man advantages in their past five games - San Jose had six.
"We take some unnecessary penalties. It takes away the momentum from you," Sacco said. "You're taking away your best players' opportunities on the ice."
Who's Hot: Colorado's Matt Duchene has seven goals and three assists in his past nine outings, including the lone goal against San Jose. The third-year center has six goals in 12 career games against Vancouver.
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