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The Vancouver Canucks needed all the help they could get from their resurgent offense to keep their win streak going.
Judging by their recent results against the Ottawa Senators, the Canucks might not need as much assistance as they visit Scotiabank Place on Saturday night.
Vancouver (17-10-1) earned its third straight win and eighth in nine games Thursday by rallying from a three-goal deficit in Montreal. Mason Raymond started the comeback with a short-handed goal, his first in three games since returning from a vertebrae compression fracture suffered in the Stanley Cup finals.
"After the third goal, I just wanted to shut the door. Hopefully the boys would bail me out, and they did," goaltender Roberto Luongo said. "We've been a really good third-period team all year long and we knew that we could come back in the game."
The result extended the Canucks' season-high road win streak to four as they opened a five-game trip, and gave them an eighth consecutive game with at least three goals. During its 6-7-1 start, Vancouver failed to produce more than two such games in a row.
The Canucks scored only two goals during their previous matchup with Ottawa (13-12-4) but that's all they needed as Cory Schneider stopped 28 of 29 shots in an overtime victory at home Nov. 20.
Vancouver has allowed a combined six goals during its four straight wins over the Senators, with Luongo starting three.
The All-Star goaltender has posted a 1.98 goals-against average while winning seven consecutive matchups. The Canucks have also prevailed in eight of nine against the Senators, including four of five at Scotiabank Place.
It would appear they might have a chance to add another victory with Ottawa 1-2-2 in its last five games this month and having given up a combined nine goals over consecutive defeats.
The Senators allowed three of those in the third period Thursday in New Jersey en route to a 5-4 shootout defeat. Those defensive breakdowns, including two short-handed goals, allowed the Devils to rally from an early 3-0 deficit.
Jesse Winchester, though, managed to give his team a point by scoring with five seconds left in regulation after Alex Auld was pulled.
"It was good to push it to overtime, but we're feeling pretty bitter and sour," Winchester said.
Auld dropped to 0-3-2 this season with the result but may not get the chance to pursue his first win Saturday with Craig Anderson expected to return to the net. Anderson started the seven previous games before Thursday's loss and has won two of his last three over Vancouver.
Anderson might not have defenseman Sergei Gonchar to help. He left Thursday's loss with an upper-body injury, and his status is unknown for this game.
Gonchar's absence might help some Canucks continue to shine against the Senators. Chris Higgins has a goal in each of the last four matchups, including the overtime winner Nov. 20, and Ryan Kesler has three goals and three assists during a four-game point streak in the series.
Higgins, though, is a game-time decision after missing the last two games due to a staph infection.
Jason Spezza has tried to help the Senators with three goals and two assists in his last five matchups.
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