Preview: Canucks Vs. Devils; Luongo and Brodeur in Spotlight

Sheldon SinghContributor IDecember 2, 2009

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 14:  Canadian men's Olympic ice hockey player goalkeepers Roberto Luongo (L) and Martin Brodeur attend their first team's first practice during Day 4 of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games on February 14, 2006 at the Palasport Olimpico in Turin, Italy  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Two of the top contenders in the battle to be Canada's starting goaltender at the 2010 Winter Olympics will take to the ice tonight as Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks and Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils take to the ice at the Prudential Center.

Vancouver is kicking off a four-game trip and will try to improve upon its 4-8-0 road record during the swing. The Canucks will also be making stops in Philadelphia, Carolina and Nashville before returning to British Columbia for a season-high, eight-game homestand.

The Canucks had won two straight and four out of five heading into Sunday's game against visiting San Jose, but were handed a 4-2 loss in what was the finale of a five-game homestand. Dan Boyle scored the go-ahead goal on the power play in the second period to help lift the Sharks.

"Obviously their penalty killing is real good, but our execution wasn't there and we weren't able to generate anything," coach Alain Vigneault said. "Their other lines beat our guys and at the end of the day in one-on-one situations along the wall and in front of the net I thought they were grittier than our guys were and that's why we lost this game."

Vancouver is among the league leaders with the man advantage, converting 24.3 percent. New Jersey, though, has killed all seven of its opponents power-play chances during the three-game win streak.

Vancouver is among the league leaders with the man advantage, converting 24.3 percent. New Jersey, though, has killed all seven of its opponents power-play chances during the three-game win streak.

Jannik Hansen and Kyle Wellwood had the goals for Vancouver, while Luongo made 26 stops for the Canucks.

Canucks forward Rick Rypien missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury and is questionable for tonight's tilt. The 25-year-old has two goals and an assist in 19 games this year.

Tonight marks the lone scheduled meeting between New Jersey and the Canucks this season. The Devils posted a 5-3 victory in Vancouver last season, but the Canucks have still won five of the last seven encounters between the clubs. Jersey has also lost four of its last six home games in this series.

Following one of their most dominating performances of the season, the New Jersey Devils look to win their fourth straight overall and seventh in a row at home Wednesday night when they face the Vancouver Canucks.

New Jersey (17-6-1) opened a four-game homestand Saturday with a 6-1 victory over the New York Islanders. Brian Rolston and Patrik Elias each had two goals and two assists as the Devils scored their most goals since a 6-5 win over San Jose on Feb. 15.

After finding the back of the net four times in his first 19 games, Rolston has four goals in his last four. Elias, who missed the first 13 games with a groin injury, has three goals and seven assists in his last six.

"(Rolston and Elias) did the job tonight, for sure, again," coach Jacques Lemaire told the Devils' official Web site. "I think they're on top of their game now. They're playing good hockey and they play with confidence. They enjoy the game. You can tell when you talk to them, they feel better than they did at the start."

Four-time Vezina Trophy winner Martin Brodeur missed that contest due to left elbow surgery that sidelined him 50 games last season. Brodeur is 2-8-0 in his last 10 starts versus Vancouver.

Brodeur was named the NHL's second star of the week Monday after going 3-0-0 with a 0.97 goals-against average. He is one shutout shy of tying Terry Sawchuk's NHL record of 103 and is among the league leaders this season with a 2.05 GAA.

If Brodeur gets the start Wednesday, he'll try to win his sixth straight at the Prudential Center.

Devils leading scorer Zach Parise looks to extend his career-best point streak to 11. He has nine goals and six assists during this stretch.

Parise and the Devils will likely face Roberto Luongo, who has posted consecutive shutouts against New Jersey after going 3-13-0 with a 3.46 GAA in his first 16 matchups.

The game faces off at 4pm PT and can be seen live on TSN and TSN HD. Listen to the game on the TEAM 1040 Sports Radio or at