Canucks look to cure road woes against Stars

By Jeff Mezydlo
Stats Senior Writer

Vancouver (38-24-9) at Dallas (33-31-8), 8:30 p.m. EST

DALLAS (AP) — The Vancouver Canucks need to improve their play
on the road if they want to better their playoff position in the
Western Conference standings.

The Dallas Stars, meanwhile, need to play better – regardless of
location – just to reach the postseason.

The Canucks look to avoid a fifth straight road loss Tuesday
night when they face the Stars, who are trying to snap a
three-game overall losing streak.

Vancouver (38-24-9) is 16-4-1 since Feb. 3, but its recent play
away from home has hindered its progression up the conference

In the opener of a six-game road trip, the Canucks had their
four-game winning streak snapped with a 5-1 loss at lowly
Phoenix on Saturday. Vancouver, which is fifth in the West and
two points behind Chicago in the race for home-ice advantage in
the first round of the playoffs, is 16-13-5 away from home.

The Canucks, who play seven of their final 11 away from home,
are 0-3-1 on the road since winning 3-2 at Toronto in a shootout
on Feb. 21. They last suffered five straight road losses from
Jan. 15-Feb. 5, 2008.

Vancouver, which is within reach of Northwest Division-leading
Calgary and the No. 3 seed, plays four of its next five on the
swing against teams in the playoff hunt.

“We haven’t won on the road in our last four (games) and we’re
going to get some other opportunities to win on this trip and
obviously we’re going to have to play better,” coach Alain
Vigneault told the Canucks’ official Web site.

The Canucks can start with a rare road win against Dallas.
Vancouver is 1-1-1 versus the Stars (33-31-8) this season,
including a 2-1 loss at Dallas on Feb. 13. The Canucks are 1-6-2
in Dallas since the start of the 2003-04 season.

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Vancouver won 4-3 on March 15, 2008 for its lone victory over
that stretch.

Despite their recent road struggles, the Canucks are facing a
Dallas team that’s coming off an 0-3-0 road trip after winning
two straight at home. The Stars open a three-game homestand
before playing five of their final seven on the road.

The Stars, who are 12th in the West and three points behind
Nashville for the eighth and final playoff spot, lost 5-2 at San
Jose on Saturday.

“We need to keep pushing,” said defenseman Stephane Robidas, who
scored for the Stars. “We have 10 games left and we can’t give

Dallas will be without star forward Brad Richards indefinitely
after he broke his hand Saturday in his first game back from
missing 15 with a broken wrist.

Loui Eriksson continued his breakout season with his 33rd goal
Saturday and has one with two assists versus Vancouver in

Marty Turco made 25 saves against the Sharks and has allowed 10
goals in his last three starts. He is 17-5-1 with a 1.82 GAA
lifetime versus Vancouver.

Roberto Luongo was pulled after allowing three goals in two
periods Saturday for Vancouver, which yielded one fewer to
Phoenix than it did in its previous four games.

“I think a game like (Saturday) is really one that you just put
behind you,” said Luongo, who is 27-10-6 with a 2.40 GAA this
season and 7-4-2 with a 2.02 GAA against Dallas.

Mats Sundin and Ryan Kesler each had a goal with an assist in
Vancouver’s 4-2 win over Dallas last Tuesday.