February 12, 2015

It was right around this time last season when Vancouver went into its longest losing streak in large part because of a lack of offense.

The Canucks will match that five-game skid Saturday night against visiting Boston if they can't crack a Bruins defense that's been looser this season than any since 2006-07.

After Thursday's 4-2 home loss to Dallas, Vancouver (9-10-8) has five goals over a 0-2-2 span and won just three times in 15 games after starting the season 6-2-4.

"Even though we hadn't played our best game we were right there the whole game," Henrik Sedin said of the latest effort. "We told each other we were one shot away. We scored in the third, but it got away from us again and it's the same old story.

"The only way out of it is work. You can't feel sorry for yourself."

Henrik Sedin had two assists, bumping him to 13 points in his last nine games, while team points leader Daniel Sedin has 18 points in his last 12 games, but there isn't much production coming from the rest of the team.

"We've got to create more," coach Willie Desjardins told the team's official website. "You might get some points, but you don't deserve the games. We battled back to get a tie in a game we probably didn't deserve to be tied in.

"The only thing you can do is work your way out of it. People aren't going to feel sorry for you. We've got to work our way out of it. It's going to be tough."

The Canucks last lost five straight (0-4-1) from Dec. 6-17 with seven goals scored. They have, however, won four of their last five against Boston while averaging 3.60 goals, including a two-game sweep last season.

Boston (13-8-3) fell 5-4 in overtime at Calgary on Friday, settling for a point for a second straight game following a five-game winning streak.

The Bruins seemed in control after Brad Marchand scored his second goal of the game on a short-handed penalty shot with just over a minute remaining in the third period, but they allowed a goal in the closing seconds of regulation.

"It was extremely entertaining, we all enjoy being in games like that, but that's not the type of game we normally play in and we can't continue to play in games like that," said Marchand, who leads the Bruins with 12 goals.

The Bruins are allowing 2.96 goals per game, which is their highest mark since ending 2006-07 at 3.48. Part of that has fallen on Tuukka Rask, but it was Rask replacing Jonas Gustavsson against the Flames. Gustavsson gave up three goals on 11 shots before Rask stopped 24 of 26 shots and got stuck with the overtime loss.

The veteran has been better over a 3-0-2 span, posting a 2.06 goals-against average and .935 save percentage after starting 5-7-1 with 3.18 and .890 marks. He lost both meetings last season and is 0-2-0 with a 4.74 GAA and .830 save percentage in Vancouver.

Ryan Miller has been in goal for three of Vancouver's losses on the skid, falling to 2-7-2 with a 3.15 GAA and .894 save percentage during the 15-game slide. The former Buffalo goaltender has seen plenty of Boston in his career and has a 2.36 GAA and .930 save percentage over a 15-4-3 span, including a 5-2 home win with the Canucks on Feb. 13.

The Sedins weren't required for any of the team's 12 points.

You May Like