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Canucks, Hurricanes aim to bounce back from losses

by Brian Compton

CANUCKS (13-10-5) at HURRICANES (10-11-5)


Last 10: Vancouver 2-5-3; Carolina 4-4-2

Season series: This is the first of two games between the Vancouver Canucks and Carolina Hurricanes. They will play again in eight days at Rogers Arena.

Big story: The Canucks continue to struggle. Vancouver heads to Carolina after the New York Rangers spoiled John Tortorella's return to Madison Square Garden by beating the Canucks 5-2 on Saturday afternoon. Carolina is wrapping up a two-game homestand; the Hurricanes lost 5-2 to the New Jersey Devils at PNC Arena on Friday night.

Team Scope:

Canucks: Vancouver's four-game road trip continues Sunday in Raleigh; it has split the first two games, winning 5-2 against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday before losing to the Rangers on Saturday. David Booth and Daniel Sedin scored, but Chris Kreider had a hat trick for New York, which chased starting goalie Roberto Luongo 17 seconds into the second period. Luongo allowed three goals on 10 shots before being replaced by Eddie Lack.

"I think we generate [chances] early on in the game, we don't score and we just make a huge mistake five feet from the blue line and it ends up in our net," Tortorella said. "Throw one out of the rink, power-play goal and again we're just climbing the hill."

Hurricanes: Aiming to stay in the race for a Stanley Cup Playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Hurricanes begin a busy month that features eight games in the first 14 days of December. Seven of those eight games will be played against Western Conference opponents. Points in these games could be crucial to Carolina's postseason hopes, and the players know they need to be more consistent.

"We've had a couple tough stretches, and we're still right there. We want to get to a place where those are behind us," defenseman Jay Harrison told the Hurricanes website. "It's about surviving the bad times and not allowing them to completely deflate the progress. We're close. We can be better. We think we can be better than a .500 team."

Who's hot: Daniel Sedin's goal Saturday extended his point streak to five games. He has three goals and five assists during that span. … Hurricanes defenseman Andrej Sekera has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past four games. Captain Eric Staal had 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 14 games in November.

Injury report: Vancouver will be without forward Jordan Schroeder (sprained ankle). … Sekera (upper body) missed the game Friday and did not practice Saturday. He is doubtful to play against the Canucks. The Hurricanes are missing forward Alexander Semin (concussion) and goalie Anton Khudobin (lower body, day-to-day). Defenseman Tim Gleason (lower body) is unlikely to play.

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