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Canucks-Coyotes Preview

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Canucks-Coyotes Preview

GAME: Vancouver Canucks (15-6-2) at Phoenix Coyotes (12-11-2).

TIME: Saturday, 10 p.m. EST.

The Vancouver Canucks have been hard to score against lately.

The Canucks look for their fourth straight win and continue their recent domination over the Phoenix Coyotes when the teams meet at Glendale Arena.

The Canucks have not lost to the Coyotes since March 7, 2002, going 9-0-2 against Phoenix since then.

The Canucks on Thursday beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 for their third straight win. Anson Carter was awarded the winning goal after a review on a controversial crease scramble just 55 seconds after Markus Naslund tied the game in the third period.

"An ugly game like that we need a goal like that," Carter said. "It was important we prove to ourselves we can win an ugly game."

The Canucks have allowed two or fewer goals in each of their last five wins.

Alex Auld stopped 20 shots in his second straight win since No. 1 goalie Dan Cloutier injured his knee Sunday in Anaheim. Cloutier is expected to miss several games.

The Canucks recalled rookie goalie Rob McVicar and defenseman Sven Butenschon from Manitoba of the American Hockey League and both are expected to be in uniform.

Naslund has a point in eight straight games, posting six goals and six assists during the run. Vancouver had scored a power play goal in seven straight games before failing to record a shot in two opportunities against the Sharks.

With a 4-1 Friday over the Dallas Stars, the Coyotes improved to 7-3-1 in their last 11 games. Curtis Joseph stopped 32 shots for his 406th career win, eighth in NHL history, and Phoenix killed off 11 of 12 power plays.

"We had a great penalty kill," Joseph said. "The boys did a good job of letting me see the puck. Our penalty kill was the difference."

Mike Comrie, Shane Doan and Paul Mara had power-play goals for the Coyotes, who entered the game ranked third in the Western Conference with 28 goals with the man advantage.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 25): Canucks - 32 points, 1st place, Northwest Division. Coyotes - 26 points, 3rd place, 5 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Canucks - Naslund, 14 goals and 28 points; Brendan Morrison, 15 assists; Wade Brookbank, 56 PIM. Coyotes - Mike Leclerc and Comrie, 8 goals; Ladislav Nagy, 15 assists and 22 points; Sean O'Donnell, 57 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 25): Canucks - Power play: 17.3 percent (27 for 156), 17th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 81 percent (111 for 137), 22nd. Coyotes - Power play: 19.2 percent (31 for 161), 12th (tied). Penalty killing: 82.5 percent (123 for 149), 13th (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Canucks - Auld (7-3-1, 2.32); McVicar (no appearances). Coyotes - Joseph (10-7-0, 2 SO, 2.19); David Leneveu (2-4-2, 2.84).

SEASON SERIES: Canucks, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 20; Canucks, 3-2. At Vancouver, British Columbia, Matt Cooke scored the game-winner on a disputed goal early in the third period.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Canucks - 5-5-2 on the road; Coyotes - 6-5-1 at home.


Associated Press
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