Following a 6-1 thrashing in Dallas last week, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa wondered aloud: "If this isn't rock bottom, I don't know what is." He knows now. The reeling Canucks try to recover from Monday's stunning third-period meltdown when they open a four-game road trip at the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night. Vancouver coughed up a 3-0 lead in spectacular fashion, watching the New York Islanders score seven goals in the final period to lose for the 12th time in 14 games (2-11-1).
Winnipeg is in a slide of its own, dropping its fourth straight (0-2-2) in a 3-2 overtime defeat at Colorado on Monday to fall back in the playoff hunt just as it appeared ready to overtake the Stars for the final wild-card slot in the Western Conference. The Jets had a favorable schedule with six home dates in a seven-game span, but they were 0-2-1 in their last three at MTS Centre and now open another three-game set at home. Winnipeg beat visiting Vancouver 4-3 on Jan. 31 to halt a four-game skid in the series.
TV: 7:30 ET, TSN (Canada)
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (29-28-10): There were not too many - if any - positives to take away from a collapse that Ryan Kesler termed "embarrassing," but Vancouver finally got some production from its offense in Monday's 7-4 loss after failing to score more than two goals in 10 consecutive games. Captain Henrik Sedin notched his first goal since Dec. 14, ending a 23-game drought, and also picked up his first point in 13 games, but that ended up as a footnote following the way the Canucks unraveled. "This is a kick in the teeth," coach John Tortorella told the media. "We need to be men and find our way."
ABOUT THE JETS (30-28-8): Jim Slater was denied on a first-period penalty shot in Monday's loss to extend a dubious streak. Winnipeg has failed to convert on its last eight chances in such situations, a drought that extends back to Oct. 8, 2010, when the franchise was still located in Atlanta. Dustin Byfuglien scored a pair of goals against Colorado to give him three in the past two games - matching the total in the previous 18 contests since he was moved from defense to forward. Byfuglien is two points shy of reaching 50 for the third time in his career.
1. Sedin, who leads the team with 41 points despite his lengthy slump, will appear in his 1,000th career game - all with the Canucks.
2. Jets G Ondrej Pavelec is 1-3-0 with a 3.04 goals-against average versus Vancouver.
3. The Canucks have dropped seven straight on the road and haven't lost eight in a row away from home since Nov. 8-Dec. 10, 1989.
PREDICTION: Canucks 3, Jets 2.