The Vancouver Canucks have to hope that the combination of a return home and back-to-back visits from two of the league's weaker teams can put a halt to their staggering free fall. The Canucks remain only four points out of a playoff spot heading into Saturday's matchup with the Calgary Flames, but they have dropped four straight games and 11 of their last 12 (1-10-1) - with seven of the defeats coming on the road. "If this isn't rock bottom, I don't know what is," defenseman Kevin Bieksa said.
Although it has been a fairly forgettable season for the Flames, they are coming off a memorable victory after scoring three unanswered goals in the third period to knock off the New York Islanders 4-3 on Friday night. "If you believe and you don't quit, it's always possible," Flames coach Bob Hartley told reporters after watching his team erupt for three goals in a span of 4 minutes, 12 seconds. It was the third win in four games for Calgary, which has lost five straight meetings against Vancouver.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, CBC
ABOUT THE FLAMES (25-31-7): Joe Colborne scored twice in the third period Friday for the first multiple-goal game of his career while extending his point streak to four games. Calgary had eight rookies in the lineup Friday and they produced - first-round pick Sean Monahan notched his 19th goal while Markus Granlund scored for the second straight outing to give him a three-game point streak in his brief five-game NHL career. A third rookie, goaltender Joni Ortio, reached a milestone in his third career start by collecting an assist en route to picking up his second straight victory.
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (28-27-10): Vancouver can do nothing right on and off the ice, getting blown out in Dallas 6-1 on Thursday to extend an offensive swoon that has produced nine goals in nine games. Eddie Lack, handed the full-time starting job when Roberto Luongo was traded on Wednesday, was yanked after allowing five goals in two periods - a performance that became more painful when Luongo recorded a shutout in his Florida debut on Friday. Jacob Markstrom, acquired in the trade for Luongo, made four saves in relief of Lack on Thursday and could be poised for his Canucks debut.
1. Canucks captain Henrik Sedin has failed to hit the scoresheet in 11 games and has not scored a goal in his last 22.
2. Flames RW Jiri Hudler and D Dennis Wideman will each miss their second straight game.
3. Canucks D Zack Kassian was suspended three games by the NHL on Friday for his boarding hit on Dallas' D Brenden Dillon.
PREDICTION: Canucks 2, Flames 1