Western Conference NHL Odds: Detroit Red Wings vs Vancouver Canucks
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Both squads are anticipating a battle. "It's two of the best teams in the league going at it," Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo said. "Whenever there's that type of match involved, there's always going to be a lot of intensity and playoff atmosphere.
Those are the fun games to be playing in.” The Red Wings, who hold a slim three-point margin over the Canucks for the West’s top spot, are in the midst of a 17-game home winning streak. They are also starting to get it going on the road, having won three of four away from home. The Canucks and Red Wings have split two of their four meetings this season.
Detroit Red Wings (34-16-1): Detroit rattled off seven straight wins before suffering a surprising 7-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens prior to the All-Star break. The Red Wings, who opened the season’s second half with a win, will be playing the third of a season-long five-game road trip. All-Star G Jimmy Howard has been a stabilizing force, leading the NHL with 31 wins and is on pace to break Martin Brodeur’s record of 48. For all of his success, Howard is just 2-3-0 with a 3.51 goals-against average in five career starts in Vancouver.
Vancouver Canucks (31-15-4): C Cody Hodgson scored for a third time in as many games on Tuesday as Vancouver skated to a 3-2 overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks for its third consecutive win. Luongo, who got the night off against the Blackhawks, will draw the task of keeping the Canucks headed in the right direction. He is 2-0-1 with a 1.30 goals-against average in his past three outings against the Red Wings. All-Star Daniel Sedin has five points (four goals, one assist) in the previous five games.
1. Red Wings C Jiri Hudler has three goals in the last two games.
2. Detroit veteran forward Todd Bertuzzi’s next goal will be the 300th of his career.
NHL PREDICTION: Red Wings 3, Canucks 2 (SO)
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