Stars vs. Canucks Preview
VANCOUVER, B.C. (AP) The Vancouver Canucks are at least accumulating points during their four-game slide. They appear to be in position to avoid their longest losing streak in two years against the Dallas Stars.View Current Vancouver Canucks Odds
After having their skid extended due to video assistance, the Canucks attempt to continue their dominance of the Stars on Monday night.
Vancouver (29-10-9) has lost four in a row following an outstanding 15-1-3 stretch. However, the last three defeats have come after regulation to give the Canucks valuable points in the standings. They lead the Western Conference by three points on Central Division-leading Detroit.
According to NHL odds and oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Canucks -170 money line favorites for Monday's game against the Stars. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 80% of more than 63 bets for this game have been placed on the Stars +156.
Roberto Luongo isn't concerned.
"We're fine," said Luongo, who hasn't lost in regulation in 15 games (10-0-5) while posting a 2.06 goals-against average. "When you go through a stretch of games like we did the last couple months there's always bound to be a little correction."
A visit from the Stars (29-14-5) would usually mean a good chance to get untracked, but a loss Monday would give the Canucks their longest slide since dropping eight in a row from Jan. 9-31, 2009.
Vancouver has won six of seven against Dallas, including all three meetings at Rogers Arena in that stretch. The Canucks extended their overall winning streak in the series to three after a 4-1 road victory Dec. 31 as backup Cory Schneider made 44 saves.
Luongo, who will likely be in net, has won six in a row with a 2.30 GAA against the Stars, who lead the Pacific Division.
Continuing that success will likely be much more challenging against the Stars, who are 7-1-1 this month and have won eight of nine on the road.
The Canucks' recent funk continued in controversial fashion during Saturday's 4-3 shootout loss to Calgary. Luongo appeared to stop Alex Tanguay in the tiebreaker, but officials used video review to declare he slid into the net with the puck hidden in his pads.
"All we knew was you couldn't see the puck," coach Alain Vigneault said.
Dallas saw plenty of the puck in its net during Friday's 7-4 loss to the Flames, matching a season high for goals allowed while seeing its franchise-record road winning streak halted at eight games. Andrew Raycroft faced only 19 shots and will likely return to the bench in favor of Kari Lehtonen, who is 6-0-1 with a 1.56 GAA in his last seven road starts.
"We didn't get a very good performance from our goaltender tonight," coach Marc Crawford said of Raycroft. "We know our goalie has been terrific all year and he probably feels worse than anyone else."
Mike Ribeiro is looking to extend the longest active scoring streak in the NHL to 12 games, after getting three assists Friday. The center has four goals and 11 assists during his career-high run, giving him 10 and 34, respectively, on the season.
Ribeiro has at least one point in each of the last five visits to Vancouver, accumulating two goals and five assists.
Dallas could also get a boost if Loui Eriksson is able to return from the flu, which sidelined him for the first time since the 2007-08 season Friday. The right wing leads the Stars with 49 points, and has 11 in 15 games against the Canucks.