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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, February 24th (All times Eastern)

Vancouver Canucks (10-3-4) at Detroit Red Wings (8-7-3), 5 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks will try to close a four-game road trip with their third consecutive victory as they visit the Detroit Red Wings for Sunday's battle at Joe Louis Arena.

The Canucks began this swing with a shootout loss in Chicago before posting wins in Dallas and Nashville. Vancouver has earned at least a point in 11 of its last 12 games (8-1-3) and is currently enjoying a six-point edge atop the Northwest Division.

Meanwhile, Detroit was finally able to get a win Saturday, blanking the Nashville Predators 4-0 to halt a five-game skid.

The Canucks are coming off a victory in Friday's low-scoring affair in the Music City. Roberto Luongo out-dueled Pekka Rinne and Dale Weise scored the game's only goal in the 1-0 decision for Vancouver.

Luongo stopped 23 shots for his second shutout of the season and 62nd of his career. Rinne finished with the same amount of saves as his Vancouver counterpart, but was saddled with the loss.

"When we play these guys those are the types of games you get into pretty much every time," Luongo said.

Weise supplied the game's lone goal, the result of a carom in front of Rinne, at the 9:14 mark of the third period.

Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa left the game early in the second period with a groin injury and did not return. Bieksa, who is second among NHL blueliners with five goals this season, is questionable for Sunday's contest.

Vancouver is 5-1-2 as the visiting team this season and has won two of its last three games in Detroit. The Canucks also have taken two of three and three of the past five overall matchups in this series.

The Red Wings were stuck in an 0-3-2 slump but Jimmy Howard helped lift them out of the hole with a strong performance against visiting Nashville. Howard made 33 saves for his first shutout of the season, while Niklas Kronwall had a goal and two assists to lead the offense.

"He made a great save at the end and made plenty of saves for us when the game was still on the line," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock about Howard. "He's been solid for us all year long and I'm happy that he got the shutout."

Daniel Cleary, Drew Miller and Tomas Tatar added a goal each for the Red Wings, who improved to 6-4-1 on home ice this season.

The Red Wings played without defenseman Kyle Quincey, who is dealing with a bruised left ankle suffered in a collision with Columbus' Artem Anisimov on Thursday. Quincey is expected to miss Sunday's game as well.

Johan Franzen is nearing a return for Detroit, but the veteran forward isn't to be ready until the Red Wings visit Los Angeles in their next game on Wednesday. Franzen will miss a seventh straight game Sunday due to a hip flexor.

02/24 10:44:36 ET


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