The Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues both try to end dismal stretches when they meet for the second time this season Friday at GM Place.
The Canucks began the season 7-4-1, but have lost six of seven games since then, getting outscored 24-12 in that span. Vancouver's last two defeats both came by 3-2 scores - to the Calgary Flames on Saturday, and on Tuesday to the Detroit Red Wings.
On Tuesday, Kevin Bieksa's goal tied the game less than two minutes into the third period, but goaltender Roberto Luongo let in a shot from Detroit's Johan Franzen to give the Canucks (8-10-1) their third three-game losing streak of the season.
"It's the best I've felt in a while, so it's disappointing it turned out that way," said Luongo, who made 30 saves but dropped to 8-9-1 with a 2.52 goals-against average. "He used the defenseman as a screen. I was out, I was set and it just went through me. I couldn't have played the shot differently, I did what I had to do and unfortunately it found a hole."
Luongo hasn't gotten much help from his offense lately, as the Canucks have been held to two or fewer goals in seven straight games.
"I think we're capable of scoring goals," Vancouver forward Markus Naslund told canucks.com. "I think right now we're not getting the bounces, we're not getting any luck. A lot of players are squeezing the sticks a little too much."
Naslund, who assisted on Henrik Sedin's goal Tuesday, recorded a goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime win over the Blues (5-10-3) on Oct. 20. Sami Salo scored the game-winner and added an assist to help Vancouver, which had lost all four matchups between the teams last season.
The Canucks are playing the fifth game of a season-long six-game homestand, but are just 3-5 at GM Place this season. Vancouver went 25-10-6 on its home ice in 2005-06, including wins in 13 of its first 14 games there.
The Blues are 1-6-1 on the road this season and are trying to avoid their fifth straight loss away from home. St. Louis dropped to 0-2 on its current five-game trip with a 6-2 defeat to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.
The Blues never recovered after falling behind by four goals just two minutes into the second period, and suffered their fifth loss in six games overall.
"We are all fighting the puck right now," St. Louis coach Mike Kitchen said. "We're squeezing sticks and not getting any breaks and that is why we are spending most of the game in the penalty box. We became very undisciplined. When we run into a little adversity it seems to really be affecting our confidence right now."
Keith Tkachuk and Ryan Johnson scored for the Blues, who are 0-for-17 on the power play in their last four games. St. Louis also continued its struggles on the penalty kill, stopping just 6 of 10 Edmonton extra-man opportunities. The Blues have allowed at least one power-play goal in six consecutive games.
Manny Legace (3-6-1, 3.56 GAA) allowed four goals on 15 shots Thursday before being replaced by Jason Bacashihua.
Blues center Doug Weight is still searching for his first goal of the season, but has 17 along with 37 assists in 59 career games against the Canucks. Tkachuk, who leads St. Louis in points (17) and assists (12), has 21 goals and 32 assists in 52 career games versus Vancouver.