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Panthers Head North To Face Sedin, Canucks

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VANCOUVER, B.C. (SportsDirect Inc.) — Captain Henrik Sedin looks to make franchise history on Friday as the Vancouver Canucks attempt to extend their home point streak to eight games when they play the Florida Panthers in the finale of their three-game stretch at Rogers Arena.

The 36-year-old Swede moved to within one point of becoming the first member of the franchise to reach 1,000 in his career by scoring his 232nd career goal in Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over Nashville.

Sedin did his best to lighten the mood on Thursday, responding to a reporter’s question on whether talk of the milestone had gotten tiresome.

“I’d rather answer questions about this than our (29th-ranked) power play,” said Sedin, who also deadpanned that his twin brother Daniel will be here when asked if family was expected to be in attendance for a potential celebration.

Florida’s Vincent Trocheck, who snapped an 18-game goal drought by scoring in a 4-2 win over the Canucks on Dec. 10, has found the net in four straight contests to highlight a six-game point streak (six goals, four assists).

The 23-year-old’s scoring punch is sorely needed on Florida’s 27th-ranked offense (2.3 goals per game), especially after interim coach Tom Rowe told reporters Thursday that last season’s leading scorer, Aleksander Barkov (upper body), and Jonathan Huberdeau (Achilles) could be sidelined for the remainder of this campaign.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, NHL.TV, FSN Florida, Sportsnet Pacific (Vancouver)

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (20-18-9): Barkov, who scored in the first meeting with Vancouver, has been out since Dec. 28 and Huberdeau was injured in the final preseason game and wasn’t slated to return to early March at best. “Those are two franchise-type players and we’re certainly not going to rush them back,” Rowe said. “They’ll be back in the lineup when everybody feels they’re ready to play. Yeah, you’re always concerned about it (being season-ending), but we’re not consumed with it every day.” Linemate Jaromir Jagr notched an assist in Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Edmonton to move within four points of 1,900 for his decorated career.

ABOUT THE CANUCKS (21-19-6): Sedin isn’t the only one with an eye on history, as Ryan Miller turned aside 30 shots on Tuesday to record his 38th career shutout and 353rd victory, matching Evgeni Nabokov for 20th on the NHL’s all-time list. The 36-year-old Miller is 6-0-2 in his last eight starts overall and has won his last six home starts to improve to 11-4-1 with a 2.04 goals-against average at Rogers Arena. Daniel Sedin, who has 967 career points, scored in the last encounter versus Florida and has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in 17 meetings with the club.

OVERTIME

1. Florida G Roberto Luongo has yielded four goals in back-to-back outings and in three of his last five, but made 37 saves in the last meeting to improve to 3-2-2 in his career versus his former team.

2. Vancouver reached out to Utica of the American Hockey League on Thursday and recalled Jordan Subban, the younger brother of Nashville D P.K. Subban.

3. Panthers D Aaron Ekblad has recorded four assists in his last three games after notching just one in his previous 13.

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