Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks clash in Game 6 of the six game series. The Canucks will be looking for a clean sweep, while the Avalanche will look to register a win in the final game of the series. Vancouver leads 5-0. The match will be held at Rogers Arena at 10:00 PM ET, March 28, 2012, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The betting odds for Avalanche are (27/11) vs. Canucks (5/6).
The Canucks outscored the Avalanche by an 18-5 margin to this point. In the shootout (Feb. 4) and overtime (March 24) at Pepsi Center, Colorado has managed a pair of points via 3-2 losses. Not all is lost for the Avalanche just yet, although Colorado picked an inopportune time to lose three in a row. In fact, in the Western Conference, a win Wednesday and a loss by either the Kings or the Stars in their games and the Avs would vault back into the top eight. After Wednesday, the problem is Colorado will have only three regular-season games remaining while its competition will all have four or five, so it may be necessary to run the table.
On a three-game road trip, this is the second stop. On Friday, Colorado plays in Calgary, and then has five days off before concluding with home games against Nashville and Columbus. The Avalanche were soundly defeated 5-1 by the Sharks on Monday, although they have been playing tight, mostly one-goal games for weeks now. In the second period, San Jose opened the scoring with a pair of goals. The Sharks came back with three unanswered to cruise.
It appears Vancouver has emerged from a stretch that saw the Canucks lose eight of 11 games to carry a three-game winning streak into Wednesday’s contest, still locked in a battle with St. Louis for the No. 1 seed in the West as well as with Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers for the Presidents’ Trophy. Interestingly, it has coincided with the loss of Daniel Sedin to a concussion. In Monday’s 1-0 win over the Kings, the goaltending has been stout, including Roberto Luongo’s 38-save shutout performance. For the 59th shutout of his career, Luongo made Manny Malhotra’s goal 3:05 into the first hold up.
Giving the Avs rookie 49 points and tying him with the Oilers’ Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the rookie scoring lead, Gabriel Landeskog assisted on the goal by O’Brien against the Sharks. Luongo, in his last three starts is 2-0-1, giving up just four goals and posting a .965 save percentage.
Vancouver is without forward Andrew Ebbett (collarbone), defensemen Keith Ballard (concussion), Aaron Rome (knee) and Sedin is out indefinitely. Ballard has been cleared for light contact, while Ebbett is practicing again.
In the NHL, Landeskog is tied for 25th with a plus 20 rating and second only to Carl Hagelin of the Rangers (plus 21) among rookies. In 100 games, the Canucks have not suffered a regulation loss when leading after two periods, improving to 95-0-5 after Monday’s victory.
It is now or never for Colorado, if it is going to break through against Vancouver. The players were already regrouping and looking ahead to the next game, after Monday’s tough loss in San Jose.