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Sharks Host Canucks, Looking To Stall Their Winning Streak

(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks will try to match their longest winning streak of the season and take over the NHL points lead this evening as they visit the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion.

The Canucks recorded a 2-1 victory in Colorado on Sunday for their fifth straight victory. They are also 10-0-2 in their last 12 games, 14-1-2 in the past 17 and can match a season-best six-game win streak from Oct. 22-Nov. 6 with a victory tonight.

Vancouver's tight victory also moved them into a tie with Philadelphia and Detroit for the NHL lead with 53 points, but both the Flyers and Red Wings are off tonight.

Roberto Luongo made 31 saves in Sunday's win, losing his shutout bid with 6:25 left in regulation. Alexandre Bolduc scored his first NHL goal in his 36th career game, while Mason Raymond returned from a 10-game absence due to a broken thumb to net the eventual game-winner.

"I don't know how much longer I could have lasted," said Luongo, who is 7-0-1 in his last eight starts. "They were throwing everything at the net and we were doing a good job tying up sticks so they couldn't get any rebounds."

Vancouver improved to 7-0-1 in its last eight on the road and is 11-5-3 as the guest overall. The red-hot Canucks haven't lost in regulation on the road since Nov. 17.

The Canucks posted a 6-1 home victory over the Sharks when the clubs met for the first time this season back on Nov. 26. Mikael Samuelsson scored twice as one of five different goal scorers and Luongo made 32 saves as Vancouver beat Colorado for just the third time in the last 13 meetings.

The club now looks to snap a six-game skid in San Jose, where Vancouver hasn't won since April 7, 2007. The Sharks are 7-0-2 in the last nine played in California in this series.

Luongo is 7-10-1 with a tie and 2.88 goals-against average in his career versus the Sharks, who seek a third straight victory this evening after posting a 1-0 win over the Kings on Saturday.

Antti Niemi made 29 saves for his second shutout of the season and ninth of his career, while Devin Setoguchihad the lone goal off assists from Kent Huskins and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

"To keep that team off the scoreboard was a pretty good accomplishment on our behalf," said San Jose head coach Todd McLellan. "Halfway through the night we weren't happy with our game, but we picked it up in the third, we started to get engaged a little more physically, win a few more battles and found a way to get one."

San Jose is three points back of Dallas for first place in the Pacific Division and kicks off a three-game homestand tonight. The Sharks are 10-5-3 as the host this season.

Saturday's shutout could earn Niemi another start tonight even though he allowed all six goals in the earlier matchup with Vancouver. He is 1-3-0 with a 3.62 GAA in his career versus the Canucks.