Canucks try to build momentum in Minny

Canucks' Mason Raymond (right) celebrates his goal with teammate Henrik Sedin on Sunday....

Canucks' Mason Raymond (right) celebrates his goal with teammate Henrik Sedin on Sunday. (REUTERS/Lyle Stafford)

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, Last Updated: 2:54 PM ET

The Vancouver Canucks will try to follow up their best performance of the young season with another strong showing, as they visit the Minnesota Wild tonight at Xcel Energy Center.

The Canucks entered this season as a Cup favorite, but stumbled to a 1-2-1 start out of the gates. However, in its fifth game of the season, Vancouver was able to record an impressive 5-1 victory over the visiting Carolina Hurricanes.

Mason Raymond had two goals and an assist to help the Canucks dominate the Hurricanes at Rogers Arena. Mikael Samuelsson had a goal and two assists while Cory Schneider stopped 32 shots for the Canucks, who ended a two-game slide.

"A lot of shots were from the outside. They only had a handful of real good opportunities. I thought we played well as a unit," Schneider said.

Schneider made his first start of the season in place of No. 1 netminder Roberto Luongo, who was given the night off. It was the first win for Schneider since he beat Florida on December 14, 2008. Luongo is expected to resume his starting role tonight.

The Canucks have been dealt a pair of regulation losses in their only two road games this season. Vancouver, which will visit Chicago on Wednesday, was just 19-20-2 as the visiting team in 2009-10.

Minnesota is 1-2-1 on the season and the club was handed a close regulation loss by visiting Columbus on Saturday.

The Wild won the first test of their current three-game homestand with a win Thursday against Edmonton, but couldn't duplicate those results on Saturday against the Blue Jackets. R.J. Umberger tallied the game-winner while his club was shorthanded midway through the third period to lift Columbus to the 3-2 win.

Brent Burns and Cal Clutterbuck notched goals for the Wild, while Niklas Backstrom allowed three goals on 25 shots in defeat. Burns suffered a broken bone in his foot Saturday, but the defenseman is still expected to play tonight.

Umberger's score did not come without controversy, as the five-year veteran managed to poke the puck past Backstrom at the side of the net though the Swedish netminder thought he held it long enough to warrant a stoppage. A replay confirmed the goal was good.

"I don't think it was in. You know, the whole time I had it, I get up and it was under my pad," Backstrom said. "At that point, it doesn't count for them, but I don't know. They even had to see it behind the net and called it a goal so I don't know."

The Wild could be without a few players tonight due to an undisclosed illness sweeping through the team. Forwards Martin Havlat and Matt Cullen and defenseman Nick Schultz are all questionable for tonight due to sickness.

The situation has resulted in the call-up of winger Colton Gillies from the club's AHL affiliate in Houston. Gillies, the 16th overall pick of the 2007 draft, played in 45 games with the Wild two years ago and had two goals and five assists. Last year, Gillies spent the entire season with Houston, but it appears tonight he could see his first NHL action since April of 2009.

Next up for the Wild is a two-game road trip, which will begin Thursday in Edmonton and end Friday in Vancouver.

Vancouver won four of six meetings with the Wild last year and has taken six of eight and nine of 12 overall in the series. However, Minnesota has won the last two encounters in St. Paul.


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