Kings next for Canucks

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:09 PM ET

That's Dany with one "n" and now one "W."

Vancouver Canucks' backup goaltender Dany Sabourin earned his first National Hockey League win on Tuesday against the host Anaheim Ducks. But don't look for him to start tonight. Roberto Luongo will apparently get the nod against the lowly Los Angeles Kings (7:30 p.m., Team 1040/Sportsnet).

Sabourin's 38-save performance, a month and a day after he lost a shootout heartbreaker to the Buffalo Sabres, may take pressure off general manager Dave Nonis to deal for a veteran goaltender to spell-off Luongo should he need rest or come down with injury.

Luongo will appear in his 57th game tonight and is destined, at this rate, to end up with 75 regular season appearances.

Luongo is single-handedly keeping the Canucks within the playoff hunt. Overall, the team has scored just 2.66 goals per game and allowed 2.53 per game. Among the teams in the top eight of each conference, only the Dallas Stars (159) have fewer goals for. Only four teams, including three in the west, have allowed fewer goals than the Canucks (152).

Judging by chatter on local sports radio yesterday, Tuesday's win has Vancouver fans ready to ante up for playoff tickets. With 22 games left, Canucks have only seven more meetings with Northwest division opponents. It'll be a battle to hold onto the third seed in the Western conference, let alone rise up the ladder. A Canucks' slump combined with a streak by another Northwest division team could turn the team's outlook upside down.

Another consideration has to be the team's unimpressive 22-21 regulation time record - which translates to a dubious .512 winning percentage in six-aside hockey

The additional 13 wins include nine in overtime and four in the shootout. Canucks have lost once in five-on-five sudden death and three times in the one-on-one tiebreaker. If they're fortunate to enter the playoffs, those tiebreaking formats won't be at their disposal.


Videos

Photos