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Struggling Canucks return home to host Flames

by John Kreiser

FLAMES (25-31-7) at CANUCKS (28-27-10)


Last 10: Calgary 6-4-0; Vancouver 1-8-1

Season series: The Vancouver Canucks have won five in a row against the Calgary Flames, including all three games this season. The most recent victory was a 3-2 shootout win at Rogers Arena on Jan. 18.

Big story: The Canucks return home looking to stop the bleeding after a 6-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday, their 11th defeat in 12 games. Vancouver is nine points ahead of Calgary in the Pacific Division standings, but the Flames come into the game on a bit of a roll after back-to-back wins at home.

Team Scope:

Flames: Calgary honored Hall of Famer Joe Nieuwendyk on Friday night by raising his No. 25 to the rafters of Scotiabank Saddledome, but needed a third-period rally to avoid having the New York Islanders spoil the party. Calgary trailed 3-1 with less than nine minutes to go, but Joe Colborne sandwiched two goals around one by Sean Monahan to send the sellout crowd home happy after a 4-3 win.

"There's just no quit in this team," said Colborne, who capped the comeback by scoring the go-ahead goal with 4:19 left in regulation. "We weren't happy with the way we played, especially in the second period, we got outworked and that's not what we stand for."

Canucks: The last time these teams met, the Canucks appeared to be well on their way to a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But a 1-10-1 slide has dropped them four points behind Dallas in the race for the final wild-card berth. They were overwhelmed by the Stars, who got three goals and five points from Tyler Seguin.

There weren't many positives, though coach John Tortorella said he was pleased with the play of newcomer Shawn Matthias, a center who was part of the package the Canucks received from the Florida Panthers in the Roberto Luongo trade.

"I thought he played well," Tortorella said. "He was probably our best forward. He did some good things and wasn't afraid to make a play and made some good plays. I'm really happy with his play."

The Canucks will be without forward Zack Kassian, who was suspended for three games by the NHL on Friday after taking a major penalty for boarding Dallas' Brenden Dillon.

Who's hot: Monahan has three goals and five points in Calgary's past four games. … Zac Dalpe had Vancouver's only goal in Dallas.

Injury report: The Flames are without defenseman Dennis Wideman (upper body), goaltender Karri Ramo (knee) and forwards David Jones (shoulder), Jiri Hudler (lower body), Kevin Westgarth (head) and Curtis Glencross (ankle). … Vancouver is missing forward Daniel Sedin (lower body) and defenseman Andrew Alberts (concussion). Center Mike Santorelli (shoulder surgery) is gone for the season.

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