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51-22-9
Colorado
Avalanche
41-35-6
OT
32 SOG
40 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTT
VAN
COL
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Canucks-Avalanche Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:49 AM

Associated Press

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Canucks-Avalanche Preview
Vancouver Canucks vs. Colorado Avalanche

The Vancouver Canucks aren't sure when leading goal scorer Daniel Sedin will return to the lineup, but at least they're in a comfortable spot in the Western Conference standings.

The Colorado Avalanche don't feel that way about their position.

One point shy of clinching its fourth consecutive Northwest Division title, Vancouver closes a four-game trip Saturday night when it tries to extend its point streak over the Avalanche to 16.

While there has been no confirmation Sedin suffered a concussion after getting elbowed in the face by Duncan Keith in Wednesday's 2-1 overtime loss in Chicago, the reigning Art Ross Trophy winner has returned to Vancouver with no timetable set for his return.

His twin brother Henrik spoke with him prior to Thursday's 2-1 victory over Dallas and said that Daniel "has symptoms, a little bit of a headache, which comes with a hit like that."

Without Daniel - the team leader with 30 goals - the Canucks (44-21-9) will need Henrik and others to generate more offense as they try to trim St. Louis' four-point lead atop the West.

Vancouver, 3-5-1 since a 2-0 victory over the Blues on March 1, has scored just three times on its trip after Mason Raymond and Kevin Bieksa found the back of the net on Thursday.

"We're not to replace Daniel Sedin with anybody in the league, obviously," Bieksa said. "... That's what you need when your best players go down - you need guys to step up, fill that void. But obviously, we're a better team with Daniel in the lineup."

Daniel Sedin and Jannik Hansen lead the Canucks with three goals apiece as they've won all four meetings with the Avs (40-31-5) this season by a combined 14-3, including 9-0 in the first two.

The Canucks have outscored Colorado 59-27 in 15 games since their last regulation loss in this series, 3-0 in Denver on Oct. 3, 2009.

If Vancouver can continue that point streak on Saturday, it will eliminate Colorado and Calgary from the divisional race and lock up one of the top three seeds.

The Avs, meanwhile, really can't afford anything fewer than two points Saturday.

After taking sole possession of seventh place with Tuesday's 2-1 home win over the Flames, Colorado is back in a tie for eighth after Thursday's 3-2 loss at Phoenix.

The Avs are one of five clubs battling for the final two playoff spots.

"We've got to put (the loss to Phoenix) behind us very quickly and get ready for Vancouver," Colorado coach Joe Sacco told the team's official website. "At this time of the year you can't dwell on a loss. There is too much at stake."

With a league-low six games left to decide if they'll make the playoffs, the Avalanche might ride Semyon Varlamov in net the rest of the way.

But Varlamov, who had his personal five-game winning streak snapped Thursday, is 0-3-0 with a 3.54 goals-against average in three starts against Vancouver this season.

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault could give Roberto Luongo another night off after Cory Schneider earned a career-best 17th victory with Thursday's 25-save effort.

Schneider has stopped all 44 shots he's faced against Colorado this season. He made 24 saves in a 3-0 win in Denver on Nov. 23, then turned aside 20 shots Dec. 6 after Luongo was hit under the mask by a Gabriel Landeskog slap shot.

These teams meet for the final time Wednesday in Vancouver.

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 28 '12 COL 0 at VAN 1 C. Higgins
Mar 24 '12 VAN 3 at COL 2 - OT C. Higgins
Feb 15 '12 COL 1 at VAN 3 J. Hansen
Feb 04 '12 VAN 3 at COL 2 - SO M. Raymond
Dec 06 '11 COL 0 at VAN 6 D. Sedin
Nov 23 '11 VAN 3 at COL 0 M. Malhotra
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
H. Sedin75136073+174675
D. Sedin72303767+1440106
R. Kesler70222547+145281
A. Burrows73242246+198837
A. Edler75113445-23050
K. Bieksa7583442+129222
C. Higgins64152540+71613
J. Hansen75152035+143401
C. Hodgson63161733+8852
D. Hamhuis7542933+234610
D. Booth55151429-12521
S. Salo6281523+61063
M. Raymond4910919+91612
M. Malhotra7261117-111201
S. Pahlsson7331215-52601
M. Lapierre756713-1112000
M. Gragnani5211112+72610
A. Rome414610-44611
Z. Kassian39459-25100
D. Weise63448-17900
K. Ballard47167+06400
A. Ebbett14415+1411
B. Bitz8134+21400
M. Samuelsson6123-1610
A. Alberts40112+34001
C. Tanev19022+5200
M. Duco6022+1500
A. Volpatti23101-23700
A. Sulzer12011+6200
M. Mancari6000+0000
M. Sturm6000-5200
B. Sweatt2000+0000
V. Oreskovich1000+0700
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
R. Luongo5128-14-812114742.46.918
C. Schneider2917-7-1558352.04.934
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
R. O'Reilly76183654+11243
P. Stastny74203151-33262
G. Landeskog77222648+194965
S. Downie71142741-713722
J. McGinn74201636+43562
M. Hejduk76132336-81461
D. Jones67181735-23034
M. Duchene53131427-8852
E. Johnson6842024-52411
K. Quincey5451823-16031
R. Wilson5612021+123300
J. Hejda7651419-132401
D. Winnik6351318-114200
S. O'Brien7221618+29910
J. McClement7510616-73101
T. Galiardi558614-64702
P. Mueller286814-1811
C. Kobasew557613-104902
S. Elliott394913+2801
C. McLeod706410-115500
K. Porter35437-21700
R. O'Byrne69167-14900
M. Hunwick28336-1400
M. Olver19336+01001
D. Van Der Gulik25156+3200
J. Lindstrom16235-9010
B. Malone9022+1000
B. Yip10000+1800
T. Barrie7000-1000
E. Brophey3000+0000
M. Connolly2000+0200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
S. Varlamov4925-21-312614412.59.913
J. Giguere3115-10-3638212.15.923