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Red Wings Finish Off Western Road Trip In Vancouver

(Preview from The Sports Network)

The Vancouver Canucks will try to stretch their winning streak to six games this evening as they take on the Detroit Red Wings, who are aiming to win four in a row for the first time this season.

The Canucks have been on a roll since starting the season 2-3-2 and are on their longest winning streak since recording seven consecutive victories from Jan 16-30. After picking up three straight home victories to begin this current win streak, Vancouver notched back-to-back triumphs at Edmonton and Colorado.

Backup netminder Cory Schneider was the star of Thursday's 3-1 win over the Avalanche, making 33 saves. He lost his bid for his first career shutout in the latter moments of the third period but has still won all three of his starts this year.

"It was in the back of my mind, but I'd rather give up the goal and get the win," said Schneider, who was making his first appearance since Oct. 22. "It's good to get a start and get a bit of rhythm in my game."

Ryan KeslerHenrik Sedin and Raffi Torres all scored on the power play for the Canucks, who are 5-0-1 at home this season. Torres' goal was his fifth in his last three games, while Daniel Sedin posted a pair of assists.

Forward Guillaume Desbiens suffered a broken hand in a first-period fight and is out, while blueliners Dan Hamhuis (foot) and Ryan Parent (groin) are questionable. However, forward Rick Rypien is expected to return from a six- game suspension earned after he made contact with a fan in Minnesota on Oct. 19.

Despite Schneider's solid numbers this year, Roberto Luongo should earn the start in net tonight. He is 7-10-2 with a tie and 2.66 goals-against average lifetime versus Detroit.

The Red Wings head to Rogers Arena to conclude a three-game tour of western Canada. They posted their second three-game winning streak of the season last night with a 3-1 triumph at Edmonton.

Making his second straight start since missing two games with back spasms, Jimmy Howard turned aside 29 shots and Daniel Cleary had a goal and two assists. Justin Abdelkader and Valtteri Filppula also scored in the win.

"We played real well after the first couple of shifts. We spent a lot of time in their zone and created a lot of chances," said defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who has a goal and nine assists over a seven-game point streak.

Pavel Datsyuk also has a point in seven straight games, totaling four goals and six helpers on the run.

Despite his recent ailment, Howard may start back-to-back games with regular backup Chris Osgood out with a groin injury. Howard is 3-2-0 with a 3.12 goals-against average versus the Canucks. Head coach Mike Babcock could also elect to give Joey MacDonald his first appearance of the season as well.

Detroit won three of four over Vancouver last year, taking both meetings at Rogers Arena, where it has won six of its last nine trips. The Red Wings have won four of five eight of the last 12 in this series overall.