Sports

Stayin' Alive: Suddenly hot Canucks face Minnesota tonight, playoffs on the line

Don't blink, but the Canucks suddenly find themselves in the middle of a winning streak.

And Vancouver goes for its fourth straight win tonight in Minnesota against the cooled off Wild, who sit in 7th place in the West but have only three wins in their past 10 games.

The Canucks are in 10th, six points back of the Phoenix Coyotes and finally even on their games played count.

"Everybody's looking at the standings; we are too," said Canucks head coach John Tortorella (NHL.com). "All we can do is control what we have. We're going to keep trying to battle away and find points."

The Canucks are without captain Henrik Sedin yet again, whose injured ankle will keep him out for a couple weeks. Henrik suffered the injury in Vancouver's last game, a 4-2 win in Buffalo on Sunday.

That pushes (reportedly disgruntled) star Ryan Kesler into the top line's centre position.

Number 17 leads Vancouver's healthy players this season with 40 points, less than the four top Minnesota Wild skaters – Jason Pominville, Zach Parise, Matt Moulson, and Mikko Koivu.

Kesler is just returning from another injury of his own, as is Alex Burrows.

"Obviously, we need help to make playoffs," Kesler said last Thursday (CBC). "You've got to watch the scoreboard. But at the same time, we've got to take care of business in here. The last two games, the guys did a good job of that. a We've just got to keep going."

On the hot list for Vancouver?

How about goalie Eddie Lack, who have given up just two goals in his last two games, including a 30-save shutout against the Nashville Predators last Wednesday.

The Canucks, who have been ahead of the rest of the NHL schedule for the entire season, are finally even on their games played with the teams they're competing against, although the Dallas Stars have played one fewer than Vancouver.

VIDEO: John Tortorella on Alex Burrows, Henrik Sedin

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