CANUCKS (16-12-0) at HURRICANES (5-17-5)
Last 10 -- Vancouver 6-6-0; Carolina 3-5-2
Season series -- This is the only meeting of the two teams this season. In their lone encounter of 2008-09 the Canucks edged the Hurricanes, 4-3, in Vancouver on Feb 3. Alexandre Burrows scored the game-winner on a shorthanded breakaway with 1:22 left in the third.
Big Story -- After a slow start on the road, Vancouver looks to grab its fourth straight win away from GM Place. The Canucks are 5-0-0 against Eastern Conference opponents and will be facing a Carolina team that sits at the bottom of the League.
Canucks -- Vancouver has had a good road trip so far this week with back-to-back wins on Wednesday and Thursday. After having defeated the Devils, 5-2, the Canucks grabbed a 3-0 shutout win over the Flyers. Roberto Luongo made 38 saves in Philly to keep Vancouver in the hunt, while Willie Mitchell scored midway through the second period followed by goals by Burrows and defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. Henrik Sedin had a pair of assists in the win.
"Our goaltender was on top of his game, and when he is on top of his game he is very tough to beat," coach Alain Vigneault said.
Hurricanes: With the 3-2 loss to the Capitals on Monday, Carolina has lost its last five. The Hurricanes trailed by two goals going into the third period. Matt Cullen scored with 16 seconds left in the third, but the rally came too late. Joe Corvo had opened the scoring in the first with a power-play tally, before leaving the ice with a leg laceration. On the bright side, Carolina has been able to rest since the defeat and in a trade with the Maple Leafs on Thursday they acquired forward Jiri Tlusty for Philippe Paradis.
"This trade gives us an opportunity to pick up a young, skilled forward who is further along in his development, albeit still in the development phase," said President and General Manager Jim Rutherford. "We feel that Jiri has a chance to be with the Hurricanes sooner than Philippe, who is a good, but still very young prospect."
Who's hot -- Burrows has had a goal in his last two games, while Henrik Sedin had a two-point night in four of his last five games. Luongo made 29 and 38 saves in his last two matches. … Cullen now has goals in his last three straight for Carolina and is riding a four-game point streak. Eric Staal has started to heat up. The center collected a pair of assists against the Capitals and had nine shots on goal.
Injury report -- The Canucks continue to be without Pavol Demitra (shoulder) and Michael Grabner (ankle). … Corvo joins goaltender Cam Ward in the lacerated leg category. Right wing Scott Walker is out with an upper-body injury while Chad LaRose (lower body) is questionable for Saturday.
Stat pack -- Carolina trails Vancouver in the all-time series, 23-26-12-1.
Puck drop -- The 'Canes may need more than a five-day rest to take a win away from the Canucks on Saturday afternoon. Vancouver is on a roll and relatively healthy. Staal, who has awakened since his injury, could still pose a serious threat to Canucks netminder Andrew Raycroft who is expected to get the start in between the pipes.