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Canucks Report: Back at home against the Isles

Sunday, 13.11.2011 / 2:53 PM / News
By Karen Sum
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Canucks Report: Back at home against the Isles
November 13, 2011

Lui to start

Roberto Luongo will get the start tonight against the New York Islanders in the Canucks first game back on home ice since October 29.

During the six-game road trip, Luongo started five of the six games with a 3-2-0 record in those games. He had a .918 save percentage and 2.58 GAA.

"We did some good things on the road trip," said Luongo. "I think the team really stepped it up in the latter part of the trip and now it's a matter of coming home and getting the job done. These guys are hungry so we have to make sure we're ready to go."

In Luongo's last appearance against the Isles last season, he made 38 saves and two out of three in the shootout to lift the Canucks to a 4-3 victory.

Luongo was drafted as the highest drafted goaltender at the time in 1997-98 by the Islanders. He only played one season in Long Island before being traded to the Florida Panthers in 2000.

Since then, he's 6-10-3 against the Isles all-time with a 2.73 GAA and .919 save percentage in 22 games.

SCOUTING THE ISLES

The Islanders' road record is less than stellar through five games so far at 0-3-2. They were 13-21-7 overall last season but are hoping their last game a three-game trip will change that trend.

The Isles have scored just 10 goals in their five games away from Long Island and doubled their goals against, allowing 20 so far. They're currently ranked 10th on the powerplay at 18.8% but are just 1-for-7 in their last two road games against Boston and Colorado. Their PK is only killing 72.2% of penalties on the road and allowed three powerplay goals on seven opportunities on this current trip.

Not struggling on the road are Mark Streit and Michael Grabner, who lead the Isles in scoring on the road. Streit has 6 points (1-5-6) and Grabner has 4 points (3-1-4), each having played in all five away games. Streit had two assists in the Islanders' overtime loss in Colorado, while Grabner scored one of the three goals.

Grabner has three points (2-1-3) in the last two games and will feel right at home when he gets on the ice at Rogers Arena tonight. Just a year removed from being traded and claimed off waivers, Grabner makes his return to Vancouver for the first time tonight.

Good news for the Islanders is they 24-22-3 all-time record playing in Vancouver.

HOMECOMING

On the flip side, the Canucks haven't been home in two weeks but have a 3-2-1 record at Rogers Arena and won their last game on home ice when the Capitals made their way to town.

The Canucks are sitting 22nd in the League with just 18 goals-for during their six games at home and have only let in one less against, good for 10th in the NHL.

The much-talked about powerplay really got its legs on the road trip - which boosted the Canucks man-advantage to second in the NHL but hasn't seen much time on home ice since it started taking off. At home, the Canucks are 19.4% of the powerplay chances and killing off 86.4% of their penalties.

The Canucks look to keep their special teams momentum from the road back on home territory tonight and look to string together consecutive wins.

The team look to get some help from Alex Edler, who scored twice in the Canucks' last appearance on home ice and has 7 points (1-6-7) in his last six games. He's currently tied for first with Tampa Bay's Marc-Andre Bergeron in scoring among NHL blueliners with 16 points (3-13-16) through 17 games. He is the team's high minute man, averaging over 23 minutes a game - a whole minute more than the next highest Canuck, Kevin Bieksa.