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SUNRISE (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Florida Panthers are hoping to play as well at home as they have been on the road in recent weeks.
The Vancouver Canucks found a way to end their losing streak last time out and look to build off that when they visit the surging Panthers on Sunday afternoon.
Vancouver had won only two of its previous 10 contests and dropped the first three on a six-game road trip before earning a 4-3 shootout victory at Detroit on Friday.
Second-leading scorer Henrik Sedin (31 points) is day-to-day with a lower-body injury after missing the Detroit game, which the Canucks won despite Daniel Sedin (34 points) coming up empty.
A second straight road win will be difficult against the Panthers, who have allowed a total of two goals during their three-game winning streak.
Roberto Luongo likely will be in net for Florida against his former team after posting his 70th career shutout in a victory at Carolina on Friday.
“The shutout is nice, but we’re all about the win,” Luongo told reporters. “We’re really starting to play well as a five-man unit, not giving up odd-man rushes. That’s where it begins, the biggest difference for our team.”
TV: 4 p.m. ET, Sportsnet Pacific (Vancouver), FSN Florida
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (12-14-8): Radim Vrbata and Sven Baertschi each stepped up with a goal and an assist while rookie Jared McCann scored for the first time in 15 games in the win at Detroit.
It was only the second time in 11 games Vancouver scored more than two goals, and the power play has been a big part of that, converting just 2-of-24 opportunities over the last eight contests.
Ryan Miller has allowed 12 goals in three games on the trip but did record the win Friday.
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (17-12-4): Reilly Smith extended his goal-scoring streak to four games with an empty-netter Friday and defenseman Willie Mitchell netted a rare tally as Florida continues to get balance.
Jussi Jokinen leads the team with 23 points – four in his last three contests – and Brandon Pirri has registered two goals and five assists in a six-game span.
Jaromir Jagr (22 points) has posted just one goal in his last 12 games and remains tied with Marcel Dionne at 731 for fourth place on the all-time list.
- Florida LW Jonathan Huberdeau has scored only four goals in 33 games but is second on the team behind Jokinen (16) with 15 assists.
- Luongo is 1-2-1 with a .920 save percentage in five games against the Canucks, whom he took the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.
- The teams split a pair of meetings last season, with each team notching a victory on the road.
The Panthers face the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, December 20th at 4:00 p.m. You can hear every game on Sports Radio 560 WQAM, the radio home of the Florida Panthers.
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