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Vancouver Canucks At New York Islanders: Islanders Take On NHL's Best Tonight

(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks may have suffered a tough loss against a high-profile opponent in their last trip to the ice, but Alain Vigneault's team still carries a sizeable point streak into tonight's game with the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.

The Canucks were dealt a shootout loss on Saturday by the visiting Detroit Red Wings in a battle between the top two teams in the NHL this year. Vancouver has 60 points so far this season and the Red Wings are just one point back.

Saturday's setback halted an eight-game winning streak for Vancouver, which has still gone 16 straight games (13-0-3) without a regulation loss.

Jiri Hudler scored the lone goal of the shootout to help lift the Red Wings to the 2-1 victory over the Canucks at Rogers Arena. After Jeff Tambellini was stopped, Hudler blew a shot past Roberto Luongo. Jimmy Howard then made stops on Ryan Kesler and Daniel Sedin to preserve the win.

Sedin, who was named the NHL's First Star for the week ending Jan. 9, notched the only goal and Luongo stopped 32 shots.

"We definitely deserved two points tonight," Kesler said. "We have to stay positive in here and keep playing the way we're playing."

Tonight's tilt marks the start of a five-game road trip for the Canucks, who have won four straight and eight of their last nine tilts away from B.C. Vancouver is 12-5-3 overall as the guest this season.

The Islanders, meanwhile, will try to rebound from a lopsided loss when they kick off a four-game homestand tonight.

New York had won seven out of nine heading into Sunday's test in Chicago, but the Blackhawks delivered a 5-0 rout at the United Center. Marian Hossa was one of four different scorers for Chicago during a four-goal second period.

Nathan Lawson made 40 saves for the Islanders, who finished their five-game road trip with a 3-2-0 mark.

"We talked about trying to play a simple road game, eliminate our turnovers, get pucks deep, establish our forecheck, but we did none of that," said New York head coach Jack Capuano.

With Rick DiPietro sidelined with a lower-body injury, either Lawson or his fellow rookie Kevin Poulin will get the start in net tonight.

Isles forward Frans Nielsen is questionable for tonight with a strained groin that has kept him out of the last three games.

New York has won its last three home games and is 7-7-3 on Long Island this season.

The Islanders posted a 5-2 win over the Canucks last year in Vancouver. John Tavares recorded a five-point night with two goals and three assists in that win for New York.

New York has taken two straight and five out of eight in the series and the Canucks are just 1-3-1 with a pair of ties in their last seven trips to the Coliseum.

Luongo, a former Islander first-round draft pick, is just 5-10-2 with a tie and a 2.73 goals-against average in 21 games against his former club. Vancouver backup netminder Cory Schneider has never faced the Isles.


Next Game

Vancouver Canucks
@ New York Islanders

Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011, 7:00 PM EST
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

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