Road-weary without Luongo

DEREK VAN DIEST

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

It could have been disastrous.

The Vancouver Canucks headed out on their longest road trip of the season without their best player in goaltender Roberto Luongo.

They dropped the first three games of the seven-game trip, surrendering 12 goals.

But heading into last night's contest against the Edmonton Oilers, the Canucks had an opportunity to salvage the trip with a .500 record.

"If we get something tonight it will have been a good trip," assistant coach Rick Bowness, said prior to last night's game.

"Fortunately, we got to go home for a couple of days, because by the time we hit Nashville we were dragging a little bit."

The trip sent the Canucks through Calgary, Columbus, Detroit, Minnesota, Colorado, Nashville and Edmonton.

After dropping games to the Flames, Blue Jackets and Red Wings, they were able to pull out a 2-1 victory over the Wild before losing 5-4 in a shootout to the Avalanche.

On Tuesday, they rebounded to defeat the Predators 3-1 before returning home for a couple of days prior to flying to Edmonton.

"Going home for a couple of days helps you forget about the two weeks on the road before that," said forward Ryan Kesler.

"We look at this as a chance of finishing the trip on a good note. We've been playing well in the last while."

Luongo injured his groin in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 22.

It appeared as though he would be ready towards the end of the road trip, but he re-aggravated the injury in practice last week.

Curtis Sanford and Cory Schneider have been splitting the goaltending duties.

"Obviously (Luongo) is a great leader, but we have a lot of great leaders in this room," Kesler said.

"It gives those guys a chance leadership-wise to fill that void for us. We have two great goaltenders here and those guys have been playing excellent for us.

"We hope Louie (Luongo) gets back as soon as possible, but in the meantime we have to do the best we can without him."


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