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Canucks vs. Flames - Game Preview

Friday, 30.03.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
Vancouver Canucks
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Canucks vs. Flames - Game Preview

Vancouver Calgary


GAME: Vancouver Canucks (47-23-7) vs. Calgary Flames 42-25-10).


Vancouver Canucks records-keepers are once again busy updating their books as a few more franchise marks fell following the team's win in Los Angeles Thursday.

The Canucks 4-2 win over LA set a club record for victories in a season and moves head coach Alain Vigneault past Pat Quinn for the most victories by a Canucks bench boss in one year.

It also marks only the fourth time in franchise history the Canucks (47-23-7) have reached the 100-point plateau.

Ahead of Saturday's game the team have their sights set on yet another milestone: their second division title in three seasons.

"I think we're striving for it, but at the same time we're trying to win every point and win every game and play our hockey," said Canuck forward Bryan Smolinski.

At the beginning of the season, many had the Calgary Flames pegged as likely division champions. And while they were neck-in-neck for much of the season, the Canucks enter Saturday's tilt a full seven points ahead of the Calgary in the Northwest Division.

However, despite no longer being in direct competition, both teams have plenty of reason to want to win this key Northwest division match-up.

Colorado currently sits seven points back of Calgary (42-25-10) for eighth in the West. If the Avs drop their game against the Wild on Saturday they'll remain at seven points behind the Flames with just four games remaining, effectively out of the playoff picture.

However, clinching on a loss is not what the Flames have in mind.

"We want to close it out. We want to earn our playoff spot," said Iginla, following Calgary's 4-2 win over Minnesota on Thursday.

As Colorado nips at their heels, the Flames are also beginning to surge. Thursday marked their fifth win in a row, and although they haven't been a strong road team through much of the season, their current road trip has been one of their better stretches of the year.

The Flames have been perfect on this trip, allowing just four goals. A win Saturday would give the team its longest winning streak since the 03-04 season.

As Calgary's Daymond Langkow says, "Thorder="0" src=" http://cdn.nhl.com/img/team/van_comp.gif" alt="Vancouver" />
Calgary


is is the time of year you want to be playing sharp."

The Canucks, for their part, have been playing just as sharp.

The team has rode a recent offensive outburst from the Daniel and Henrik Sedin and stellar goaltending from Roberto Luongo while winning six of their last seven and nabbing points in eight straight games.

They currently sit three points ahead of Minnesota for the lead in the Northwest with a game in hand.

Saturday marks the start of a three-game homestand before the Canucks close out the regular season with back to back games in Phoenix and San Jose.

They're 9-0-2 at GM Place since February 10th, and have a slight edge on Calgary in the season series at 4-3-0.



LEADERS

CANUCKS
Goals: D. Sedin 36
Assists: H. Sedin 68
Points: D. Sedin 81
Plus/Minus: H. Sedin +19
PIMs: K. Bieksa 130
FLAMES
Goals: J. Iginla 37
Assists: A. Tanguay 55
Points: J. Iginla 88
Plus/Minus: R. Regehr +26
PIMs: W. Primeau 101