Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Sunday, November 21st
Game 2: Wednesday, February 2nd
Game 3: Tuesday, March 8th
Game 4: Friday, March 18th

Coyotes 3

(39-23-11, 89 pts)

Canucks 1

(47-17-9, 103 pts)

10:00 PM ET, March 18, 2011

Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

1 2 3 T
ARI 0 0 33
VAN 0 0 11

J. LaBarbera (Coyotes - G): Saves: 46, Save Pct.: .979

C. Ehrhoff (Canucks - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

R. Vrbata (Coyotes - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Coyotes-Canucks Preview


The Vancouver Canucks have already clinched a third consecutive Northwest Division title, and have their sights set on loftier achievements.

The surging Phoenix Coyotes are in good position, but still trying to secure a playoff spot.

The Canucks look to continue padding their lead in the quest for the Presidents' Trophy and match their longest winning streak of the season when they host the Coyotes on Friday night.

Vancouver (47-16-9) won its seventh straight game and clinched its club-record third consecutive division title with a 4-2 victory over Colorado on Wednesday.

"That's a goal we set before the season," said center Henrik Sedin, who scored twice. "To win it this early feels good. We've got more goals going forward here so we can't sit on it."

One of those goals could be the Presidents' Trophy, for which the Canucks have a nine-point lead over Philadelphia and Detroit with 10 games to play. Beyond that, Vancouver is seeking to make a run at its first Stanley Cup.

Personal goals could also come into play. Henrik Sedin leads the NHL in assists, while his 86 points are tied with Tampa Bay's Steve Stamkos for second behind twin brother Daniel Sedin's 92.

Daniel Sedin's 38 goals trail only Stamkos' 43 for the league lead.

Each brother is also riding a seven-game point streak. Henrik Sedin has three goals and nine assists during his run, including one goal and two assists in a 4-3 overtime win at Phoenix (38-23-11) on March 8.

Daniel Sedin had three assists in that meeting, and has six goals and seven assists during his streak.

The Canucks have taken the last two meetings with the Coyotes, both in Phoenix. They fell 3-2 at home Nov. 21.

Attempting to clinch the season series, Vancouver will be without center Manny Malhotra, who underwent a procedure on his eye after getting hit by a puck during Wednesday's game. There is no timetable yet for his return.

While the Canucks are concerned with securing home ice throughout the playoffs, Phoenix is trying to solidify its playoff position.

The Coyotes are fourth in the logjam that is the Western Conference standings, five points ahead of ninth-place Nashville. Seven teams are separated by six points for the final five playoff spots.

Phoenix is also only three points behind Pacific Division-leading San Jose, and has three meetings with the Sharks in its final 10 games.

The Coyotes have won four in a row since losing to Vancouver earlier this month. They kept the streak going Thursday with a 3-1 victory at Edmonton, overcoming a sloppy performance that included being outshot 36-17. Phoenix killed off eight of nine Oilers power plays.

"We came for two points and we were very fortunate to get two points," coach Dave Tippett said. "We didn't play very well as a group and that's the bottom line. We took poor penalties at poor times and we just didn't play very well."

Ilya Bryzgalov, who made 35 saves against the Oilers, has a 1.50 goals-against average and a shutout during the four-game winning streak. However, he's yielded nine goals in Phoenix's last two losses to Vancouver.

With a victory Friday, the Canucks can match their season-best eight-game winning streak set Dec. 23-Jan. 7.