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Islanders provide latest stop on Canucks' road swing

by Brian Hunter /

CANUCKS (5-4-1) at ISLANDERS (3-3-2)


Season series: This is the first of two meetings between the Vancouver Canucks and New York Islanders. In their most recent matchup, on Nov, 13, 2011, Henrik Sedin had the game-winning goal and Roberto Luongo stopped 23 shots as the Canucks defeated the Islanders 4-1 at Rogers Arena.

Big story: This is the third game in four days for the Canucks, who are in the midst of a six-game road trip and had a rough weekend with a shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday and a 3-1 defeat against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.

Team Scope:

Canucks: It's hard to analyze Vancouver 10 games into the John Tortorella era. On the one hand, the Canucks have received balanced scoring, with 10 players putting up at least four points. Luongo has solid, if not spectacular numbers (2.47 goals-against average, .910 save percentage). Yet, the team has lost as many as it's won and is just fifth in the Pacific Division.

Luongo had the night off Sunday as Eddie Lack made his second NHL start against the Blue Jackets. He stopped 26 of 28 shots, but Henrik Sedin's power-play goal in the second period was all the offense the Canucks could muster.

"He played a great game," Sedin said of Lack. "He's given us a chance to win in each of his starts. That's all you can ask from him."

Islanders: Over in the Metropolitan Division, a 2-1-2 home record has New York entrenched in third place as it looks to follow up on a Stanley Cup Playoff appearance last season.

The Islanders had at least a point in each of their first four games at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, but their bid to make it five Saturday fell just short against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Islanders cut into a 4-1 deficit in the latter stages of the third on goals by Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo, but suffered a 4-3 defeat to the second-place Hurricanes.

"We've got to play a full 60 minutes," defenseman Andrew MacDonald said. "There wasn't enough urgency early. We were kind of standing around a little bit too much and we got burnt a few times. It's unacceptable."

Who's hot: Henrik Sedin has two goals and four assists during a five-game point streak for the Canucks. … John Tavares has four goals and six assists during a seven-game point streak for the Islanders. Matt Moulson has two goals and three assists during a three-game point streak. Okposo has consecutive games with a goal and an assist. Nielsen has three goals in the past four games.

Injury report: Vancouver forwards Alexandre Burrows (foot) and Jordan Schroeder (ankle) are on injured reserve. … New York defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Saturday.

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