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Canucks go for sweep of season series vs. Devils

by Mike G. Morreale /

CANUCKS (6-4-1) at DEVILS (1-5-3)


Last 10: Vancouver 6-3-1

Season series: This is the second of two meetings this season. On Oct. 9, Mike Santorelli scored 2:18 into overtime to give the Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 victory. New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider, acquired June 30 in a trade with the Canucks, took the loss. Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo made 21 saves to pick up the victory.

Big story: The Canucks have two games remaining on their seven-game road trip, which concludes Friday at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The Canucks are currently 3-1-1 on the trip, notching victories against the Philadelphia Flyers, Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders. Vancouver coach John Tortorella made David Booth a healthy scratch in Tuesday's win against the Islanders and dressed a seventh defenseman, Andrew Alberts.

"He's not doing enough to play," Tortorella said of Booth. "I am not going to get into a public conversation about him. That's how I feel about it right now. That's all I am going to give you."

Team Scope:

Canucks: One player thriving in Tortorella's system is defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who had an assist and was on the ice for Vancouver's final three goals in a 5-4 overtime victory against the Islanders on Tuesday. The Canucks rallied from a 2-0 deficit and battled back to grab a 4-3 lead entering the third period.

"I just think he is a warrior," Tortorella told The Vancouver Sun. "We all know what he brings. I think we need more of that strut within our team. At times he gets sloppy, but in these types of situations he is the type of guy you want on the ice.

"I think we can correct some of the things and teach how we want him to play a little bit more defensively in certain situations. But he is a gunslinger, and I like that. We need more gun-slingers."

The Canucks lost wing Jannik Hansen with seven minutes left in the first period when he crashed into the end boards with Islanders defenseman Brian Strait.

Devils: After doing all the right things while beating the rival New York Rangers 4-0 on Saturday, the Devils were forced to go back to the drawing board following an ugly 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday at Nationwide Arena. The Devils took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Michael Ryder in the second period but then gave up four unanswered on the way to losing their seventh straight road game (0-5-2) without a win this season.

"It's not where we wanted to go," Schneider told The (Bergen) Record. "We could have jumped these guys in the standings in our division and, again, we had a good start to the game and got the first goal and just weren't able to finish it off. You don't want to use words like frustration, but at some point we have to address what needs to be fixed and go out and execute."

Schneider is 1-3-1 with a 2.21 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in five starts for New Jersey this season. Martin Brodeur (0-2-2, 3.40 GAA, .865 save percentage) is seeking his first win.

Who's hot: The Canucks are led by Henrik Sedin (three goals, 13 points) and his twin brother, Daniel Sedin (three goals, 10 points) through 11 games. ... Jaromir Jagr has three points in New Jersey's last two games.

Injury report: Hansen (upper body) is doubtful, and Alexandre Burrows (foot) and Jordan Schroeder (ankle) are out for the Canucks. … For the Devils, forward Ryane Clowe (head) is doubtful and defensemen Bryce Salvador (hip) and Peter Harrold (upper body) are questionable. The team expects to have forward Patrik Elias (illness) back in the lineup after he missed the past two games.

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