(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks will try to avoid their longest
losing streak in over two years when they visit the Minnesota Wild in Sunday's
battle at Xcel Energy Center.
The Canucks have lost three straight games (0-1-2), matching their longest
skid of this shortened season. Vancouver hasn't gone four straight without a
win in the regular season since an 0-1-3 funk from Jan. 16-22, 2011.
Vancouver suffered its two most recent setbacks after regulation and the club
dropped a 2-1 overtime decision Thursday night at Columbus. Matt Calvert's
goal with 57 seconds left in overtime lifted the Blue Jackets to the win at
Henrik Sedin provided the lone goal for the Canucks, losers in five of their
last six tilts. Cory Schneider stopped 25 of the 27 shots he saw in the
"There were some chances (to score) at the end there, maybe they may not have
been the quality looks you need in this league," Canucks head coach Alain
Vigneault said. "We need to do a better job getting the goaltender's eyes away
so he doesn't see the puck. We had some shots and we had a few opportunities,
but maybe not the quality we needed to score."
The Canucks have scored five goals during its three-game slide and Vancouver
is 0-for-8 on the power play over that span.
Vancouver has played the last three games without defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who
is questionable for Sunday with a groin injury. Bieksa leads all Canucks'
defenseman with five goals this season and is third on the team in ice time.
The Canucks are 5-3-3 on the road this season and are playing the middle
portion of a three-game swing on Sunday. Vancouver will close the trip Tuesday
with another game in Columbus.
Minnesota won for the second time in three games Saturday, beating the
Nashville Predators in a shootout at Bridgestone Arena.
Matt Cullen posted the winner in the final round of the shootout, lifting the
Wild to a 2-1 road win. Cullen began the third round with a successful wrister
after using several quick stick moves to fool Pekka Rinne, and the Wild
escaped with a victory after David Legwand rang his backhander off the right
"We need all the points we can get right now and this extra one is big," said
Cullen. "At the end of the season these shootout points will mean the
difference between making or not making the playoffs."
Zach Parise scored in regulation and Niklas Backstrom made 24 saves for the
Wild, winners in four of their last six games.
Minnesota enters Sunday in ninth place in the West, but the Wild are just one
point behind San Jose and Phoenix for the conference's last two playoff spots.
The Coyotes are idle on Sunday, while the Sharks play in Colorado.
The Canucks are 2-0 against Minnesota this season, winning regulation games in
Vancouver and St. Paul. Vancouver has claimed five of six and nine of the past
11 encounters in this series overall and the Wild have dropped two of three on
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