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Canucks-Panthers Preview

The Vancouver Canucks managed to end their longest road skid in two seasons without Henrik Sedin on the ice.

It's uncertain if the captain will be available to help the visiting Canucks build on their most recent victory and prevent the Florida Panthers from a fourth straight win Sunday.

Vancouver (12-14-8) was shut out twice and outscored 12-2 while opening its six-game trip with three straight losses. Sedin, second on the team to his brother Daniel with 31 points, suffered a lower-body injury in Thursday's 2-0 defeat at Philadelphia and sat out Friday in Detroit.

However, Radim Vrbata and Sven Baertschi each had a goal with an assist and recently called up Linden Vey scored in the seventh round of the shootout to give the Canucks a 4-3 victory that ended their 0-4-2 road slide.

"Guys believe a little bit more if we play the right way," coach Willie Desjardins said. "It doesn't matter who is in the lineup. That's the key. You have to have some belief. Without Hank in the lineup ... it was good for us."

Desjardins did not shed on any light if Henrik Sedin would be available for this contest or Tuesday at Tampa Bay. The Canucks are 7-8-5 away from home and haven't won consecutive road contests since starting 3-0-0, but Friday's victory lifted a weight off their collective shoulders.

"We feel confident going into the next game," said rookie forward Jared McCann, who snapped a 14-game goal drought with his seventh to open the scoring versus Detroit. "We're going to take that confidence and continue to work."

Despite the victory, Vancouver failed to convert both its power-play chances and is 3 for 31 while winning three times in the last 10 games.

"We haven't been executing on the power play very well but we're going to continue working on it," McCann said.

Florida (17-12-14) killed eight of nine penalties while amassing a 12-2 goal advantage to win three straight after opening its four-game trip with a 3-1 loss at Boston.

"The goalies are playing huge for us, and the defense is doing a great job," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant told the NHL's official website. "The forwards have to chip in and work hard defensively too, so I think we're playing a good defensive game right now and obviously not giving up a whole lot."

Ex-Canuck Roberto Luongo stopped 34 shots during a 5-1 win over New York Islanders on Tuesday and made 24 saves to record his 70th shutout in Friday's 2-0 victory at Carolina. Luongo is 1-1-1 with a 1.96 goals-against average against the Canucks since they dealt him to the Panthers in March 2014.

Winners in nine of 12, the Panthers are opening a six-game homestand. They've haven't won two in a row there since opening with back-to-back victories.

Florida forward Reilly Smith has a goal in a career-high four straight games and five in the last six.

Vrbata has a goal in each of his last four at Florida while playing for Arizona and Vancouver.

The Panthers and Canucks have split their four meetings over the past two seasons, with each earning both victories on the road.

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