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Canucks welcome Coyotes to Vancouver

by John Kreiser

COYOTES (26-14-4) at CANUCKS (26-16-1)

Last 10 -- Phoenix 6-2-2; Vancouver 7-2-1

Season series -- The teams are meeting for only the second time this season, and the Coyotes are visiting GM Place for the first time in '09-10. Phoenix edged the Canucks 3-2 in a shootout at Arena on Dec. 29, with Lauri Korpikoski getting the lone goal in the penalty-shot competition. Each team has beaten the other four times in their eight meetings during the previous two seasons.

Big story -- The Canucks will continue to try to bank points at home as they prepare for their 14-game Olympic-induced road trip that will keep them away from GM Place from late January through mid-March. They rallied from an early two-goal deficit to demolish Columbus 7-3 on Tuesday night. Vancouver has won seven of its last eight and plays eight of its next 10 at home. The Coyotes continue among the best in the West -- they blew a pair of two-goal leads but left Edmonton with two points on Tuesday night when Shane Doan's power-play goal in OT gave them a 5-4 win over the Oilers.

Team Scope:

Coyotes -- The Coyotes were looking at a potentially painful loss at Rexall Place on Tuesday before Doan's OT goal saved the night. Phoenix, which doesn't get a lot of two-goal leads to hang on to, twice couldn't hold them against the last-place Oilers. But despite being outshot 42-30, the Coyotes found a way to avoid a three-game losing streak.

"I'm glad our guys stuck with it," coach Dave Tippett said. "We got to overtime and found a way to get the extra point, and that's what counts."

Canucks -- Daniel Sedin's return from a broken foot just before Thanksgiving has been just what Alex Burrows needed to find his scoring touch. Burrows had just one goal in the 18 games Daniel missed, but since then, he's prospered while riding shotgun with the twins -- he has 10 goals and 18 points in 22 games, including a hat trick in the win over Columbus.

"The twins, they do their thing and I do mine and it kind of works out," said Burrows, who has 14 goals this season. "They're the ones that are providing the offense. They're the ones that are making plays, especially since Danny's been back."

Who's hot -- Phoenix forward Petr Prucha has scored three times in the Coyotes' last five games, including the win over Vancouver last week. … Vancouver's Henrik Sedin pulled into a tie for the NHL scoring lead by scoring a goal and setting up two more against Columbus. He has 14 points during a seven-game points streak. Daniel Sedin has 4 goals and 13 points in seven games. The Canucks' top line of the Sedin twins and Burrows combined for 4 goals and 5 assists in the win over Columbus.

Injury report -- Phoenix center Martin Havlat left Tuesday's game with an upper-body injury late in the third period. Scottie Upshall sat out with a lower-body injury. The Coyotes got defenseman Jim Vandermeer (upper body) and center Vernon Fiddler (lower body) back in the lineup. … Vancouver will be without defenseman Kevin Bieksa (lacerated ankle) and center Pavol Demitra (shoulder) indefinitely. Center Ryan Johnson (foot) is day-to-day.

Stat pack -- Doan had a pair of goals on Tuesday, giving him, 34 two-goal games in his NHL career. Phoenix improved to 19-1-2 leading after two periods this season with the win in Edmonton. … Burrows' hat trick was the fourth by the Canucks this season, the most by Vancouver since 2001-02. Five Canucks have points streaks of three games or more, led by Henrik Sedin's seven-gamer.

Puck drop -- At 17-6-0, the Canucks have more home victories than any team other than Chicago. They'll need to continue their dominance of the Coyotes at GM Place, where they are 12-2-1 against Phoenix in their last 15 meetings and 17-4-1 with two tied since the franchise moved from Winnipeg to the desert in 1996.

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