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Canucks continue homestand against Isles

by Brian Compton
ISLANDERS (28-32-9) at CANUCKS (43-23-3)

Last 10: New York 4-5-1; Vancouver 7-2-1.

Season Series: This is the lone meeting between the teams. They last met on Nov. 17, 2008, when the Isles earned a 2-1 shootout victory at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Frans Nielsen scored the shootout winner.

Big Story: Vancouver passed its 14-game road test with flying colors, and is 2-for-2 since returning home. With eight of their remaining 13 games at GM Place, the Canucks still at least have an outside shot at winning the Western Conference. They're currently seven points behind the top-seeded San Jose Sharks.

Team Scope:

Islanders: You can say this about Scott Gordon's club -- it's not going down without a fight. The Isles have won two in a row and have points in three straight games to remain seven points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. After earning a 4-2 win against New Jersey on Saturday, the Islanders completed a weekend sweep on home ice with a 4-1 victory against Toronto. Blake Comeau had three assists against the Leafs and Martin Biron made 26 saves.

"We feel like we owe each other results and consistency," Biron said. "When you play with the attitude and dedication we have right now, you have that sense you're going to play well."

Canucks: Vancouver got off to a dazzling start on Sunday night, as it scored three goals in the first period and outshot the Calgary Flames 20-6. The latter portion of the game went the other way, but the Canucks still managed to notch a 3-1 victory at GM Place. Henrik and Daniel Sedin each had a goal and an assist, and Roberto Luongo made 32 saves.

"It's really tough to come back in this League," Henrik Sedin said. "We really got our legs going, came out of the gates strong. I don't know if it's the crowd, just being back home, or what it is, but we seem to create a lot of chances early and got the first goal two games in a row."

Who's Hot: Comeau has eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) since the Isles returned from the Olympic break on March 2 and 12 points in his last seven games. He ranks fifth on the club with 12 goals. … Canucks forward Ryan Kesler has a 13-game points streak. He has six goals and nine assists during that span. Daniel Sedin has a 10-game points streak, while his twin brother, Henrik, has points in each of his last five games.

Injury Report: Islanders centers Rob Schremp (knee) and Doug Weight (shoulder) and defenseman Radek Martinek (torn ACL) are out for the season. Goalie Rick DiPietro is on injured reserve due to ongoing knee problems, while defenseman Andrew MacDonald (foot) is out 4-6 weeks. Right wing Trent Hunter (upper body) is expected back shortly, while left wing Jeff Tambellini (groin) is day-to-day. … Canucks forward Steve Bernier is likely to be out at least through the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs due to sports hernia surgery, while defenseman Willie Mitchell (concussion) may be lost for the season. Alexandre Bolduc (shoulder) is out for the season.

Stat Pack: The Canucks gave up the first goal 11 times on their long road trip and rallied in the third period on five occasions. They lead the NHL with 10 comebacks when trailing after two periods.

Puck Drop: "We had a big stretch in December where we had a lot of home games and we started winning, that gave us confidence and now we have kept things going. We have a good schedule over the last 13 games, so it's good." -- Canucks forward Daniel Sedin

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