(SportsNetwork.com) – A pair of clubs shooting for their fourth consecutive
victories will meet Sunday afternoon in the Motor City, as the Detroit Red
Wings host the Vancouver Canucks at Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit will aim for its first four-game winning streak of the season, while
Vancouver is hoping to match its season-high in consecutive victories.
The Canucks, who won four straight from Oct. 26-Nov. 1, have been nearly
impossible to score on during their current three-game streak. Vancouver’s
Ryan Miller surrendered one goal last Sunday in a 4-1 win over Chicago before
recording consecutive shutouts against New Jersey and Columbus. Miller has won
his last four starts and hasn’t tasted defeat since surrendering five goals on
Nov. 14 against Arizona.
Miller enters Sunday with a shutout streak of 152 minutes, 5 seconds and will
get a chance to extend the scoreless stretch this afternoon. The 34-year- old
American is off to a tremendous start in his first season with the Canucks,
boasting a 15-3-0 record with a 2.32 goals against average and three shutouts.
However, the 2009-10 Vezina Trophy winner does not have good career numbers
against Detroit, going 2-9-2 with a 3.37 GAA in 13 meetings with the Red
After making 20 saves in Tuesday’s 2-0 home win over the Devils, Miller needed
to stop 31 shots for his 32nd career shutout in Friday’s 5-0 victory in
Columbus. Despite his outstanding record so far with the Canucks, the
goaltender feels like their is still room for improvement.
“I feel like I’m still trying to build the right kind of game to play with
this team,” Miller said after Friday’s victory.
The win over the Blue Jackets came at the start of a seven-game road
trip and pushed the Canucks’ record away from Rogers Arena to 9-3-0. Vancouver
has won its last three tests as the road team.
Chris Higgins scored what proved to be the game-winning goal late in the
second period, while Henrik Sedin, Shawn Matthias, Brad Richardson and
Alexandre Burrows each scored in the third to put the game away. Sedin’s goal
was the 199th of his career.
Miller made 12 of his 31 stops in the final period while his teammates were
adding insurance goals. Higgins had a goal and an assist, and Nick Bonino
assisted on three Vancouver goals.
Detroit, meanwhile, is coming off an impressive comeback victory in New
Jersey, as Mike Babcock’s team rallied from down 4-1 to earn Friday’s 5-4
New Jersey led 3-1 after 20 minutes and pushed the cushion to three goals when
Mike Cammalleri scored on the power play just 28 seconds into the second
period. Detroit, however, would cut the deficit to 4-3 by the end of the
second and Drew Miller — Ryan Miller’s younger brother — evened the score
midway through the third period.
Gustav Nyquist later recorded the only goal of the shootout to give the Red
Wings a remarkable comeback win.
Riley Sheahan, Xavier Ouellet and Justin Abdelkader also scored for the Red
Wings, who won for the fifth time in seven games.
“We’re a pretty good hockey club when we play with pace,” said Babcock. “When
we don’t play with pace, we’re not.”
Petr Mrazek made 21 saves plus three more during the shootout in his second
start of the season. No. 1 goalie Jimmy Howard will return to the crease today
and he is 11-5-2 with a 2.52 GAA in his career against Vancouver.
The Red Wings haven’t won four in a row since March 29-April 4 of last season,
but Detroit is hoping to do so today by continuing its recent success against
Detroit has claimed two straight and four of the last five encounters with
Vancouver and the Canucks have lost two in a row and three of four in Motown.
The Red Wings, who are 8-2-2 as the host this season, are beginning a four-
game homestand today.