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Canucks hope to continue recent success vs. Devils

by Magalie Lafreni?re
DEVILS (3-8-1) at CANUCKS (4-3-2)


Last 10: New Jersey 3-7-0

Season series -- This is the sole meeting of the season between the two clubs. The Canucks defeated the Devils, 5-2 in New Jersey, in last season's lone matchup. Roberto Luongo outplayed Martin Brodeur, making 27 saves, while Vancouver had goals from Alexandre Burrows, Sami Salo, Daniel Sedin, Alexander Edler and Jannik Hansen.

Big Story -- With the Devils' 3-1 loss to the Kings on Saturday they fell to last place in the Eastern Conference and last in the NHL with seven points. It will be their third game in four nights in the midst of a five-game Western Conference road trip that hasn't been kind to the New Jersey squad. Making matters worse on Saturday, the Devils lost Zach Parise to a lower-body injury. The left wing, who didn't play in third period, was sent back to Jersey to be evaluated by the team medical staff.

Team Scope:

Devils -- Despite the loss on Saturday, the Devils bombarded the Kings with shots, outshooting them 40-23. Rookie defenseman Matt Taormina scored mid-second period, cutting L.A.'s lead in half, but the Kings made it a 3-1 game just 24 seconds later.

"It's frustrating when you get a goal on the board to make it 2-1 and then give up a goal on the next shift," captain Jamie Langenbrunner said. "Those are big moments in the game where you got to come out with your best and we just weren't doing that."

Ilya Kovalchuk, who had been wooed by the Kings this summer during free agency, was booed by the fans every time he touched the puck. The left wing had just two shots in the game and hasn’t registered a point in three games.

"That's always happened," Kovalchuk said. "It's not the first time I've been booed. It's nothing new for me."

Canucks: The Canucks have had five days off since their last game. It gave them plenty of time to work out some kinks and allowed the injured to get their rest. Their last game, on Oct. 26, was a 4-3 overtime victory over the Avalanche and the first time this season Vancouver had back-to-back wins.

Mason Raymond scored the game-winner just 28 seconds into the extra period by poke-checking the puck off a Colorado defenseman and past Peter Budaj.

"It wasn't the prettiest, but we'll take it as a team and I'll take it as a player. I saw him get the puck and go to head behind the net, I just gave it a good whack toward the front and it went between (Budaj's) legs and in," Raymond said of his third goal of the season.

Jeff Tambellini, Ryan Kesler and Peter Schaefer also scored for the Canucks. It was Schaefer's first goal since the 2007-2008 season as the left wing sat out last season after having been unable to sign with a team.

Who's Hot -- Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff had a pair of assists in Tuesday's game, while Henrik Sedin, with an assist on Tuesday, is in a four-way tie for League lead in assists with 11.

Injury Report -- As noted, Parise (lower-body) is out and will not play in Vancouver. He joins forward Brian Rolston (sports hernia surgery) and defensemen Bryce Salvador (concussion), Anssi Salmela (right knee surgery), Anton Volchenkov (broken nose/stiff neck), Mark Fraser (right hand surgery) and Matthew Corrente (broken left hand) on the infirmary list, while Jacob Josefson (hand) is day-to-day.

The Canucks have a lengthy injury list of their own. While Dan Hamhuis (foot) and Keith Ballard (concussion) skated on Friday, the defensemen are questionable for Monday. Burrows (left shoulder surgery) has resumed practice, but is still on the IR. Defenseman Sami Salo (right Achilles surgery) and center Alexandre Bolduc (high ankle sprain) are still out. Forward Rick Rypien is serving his fourth  game of a six-game suspension.

Stat Pack -- Martin Brodeur has lost six of last seven games against the Canucks.

Puck Drop -- "Who cares how many shots we put on net?" a frustrated Kovalchuk asked after Saturday’s loss. "It's only one goal, and you're not going to win a lot of games with one goal. We have to find a way to be better. It's a five-man unit. The way the 'Ds' helped us in the third period, I think that made a big difference. We created a lot of chances and we played almost all 20 minutes in their zone."

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