Posted November 26, 2011 on AP on Fox
Roberto Luongo outplayed Antti Niemi and beat the San Jose Sharks to help the Vancouver Canucks reach the Stanley Cup finals last spring. However, when the teams meet for the first time since the playoffs, Niemi will be the far hotter goaltender while it isn't clear whether Luongo will even be in net. The Sharks will try to match a season with a high fifth straight win Saturday night when they host the Canucks, who are trying to extend their longest winning streak of the season. Vancouver eliminated San Jose in five games in the Western Conference finals last season behind Luongo, who had a 2.38 goals-against average in that series compared to Niemi's 3.68 mark. Niemi, though, enters this contest having won five straight starts while Luongo hasn't played since Nov. 13 due to an undisclosed upper-body injury. The Vancouver goalie hasn't been particularly sharp this season even when healthy, going 7-5-1 with a 2.97 GAA which ranks him in the bottom third of the league. A matchup with his former team didn't bother Niemi as he stopped 34 shots for his first shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory over Chicago on Wednesday. Niemi is 9-2-1 this season and has a 1.00 GAA in his last four starts. "We talked about it this morning. We really believe he's starting to resemble the Nemo from the past year and really starting to settle in," coach Todd McLellan said. "Just exuded confidence." With solid play in net, the Sharks (13-5-1) have won six of seven, giving up seven goals in the six victories. San Jose may have caught a break with Vancouver (12-9-1) playing the night before, which could lead to coach Alain Vigneault starting Luongo over Cory Schneider. Though Luongo declared himself ready to go this week, Schneider has won three consecutive starts, the last two by shutout. He made 21 saves in a 5-0 win at Phoenix on Friday. "We were pretty sound defensively tonight," said Ryan Kesler, who had a goal and an assist. "When we did have breakdowns, a couple there in the first period, Schneids was there. He's been there for the last three games for us. He's been our best player each and every night." Vancouver has outscored opponents 10-1 during a season-high three-game streak and has won six of eight. As well as the Sharks are playing, Luongo is 5-1-1 with a 1.99 GAA in his last seven starts against them - including playoffs. "I know who's going to play," Vigneault said. "I'm going to tell my goaltender tonight so I've got to tell them before I tell you." The Canucks have won three of their last four regular-season visits to San Jose. Henrik Sedin had 17 points in nine matchups last season while Alexandre Burrows had six goals. Burrows has scored in each of the last two games.

Luongo As The Backup

from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun, Everything but his salary and ability make Roberto Luongo an ideal backup goalie. Luongo loves to practise and will happily hang out on the ice until the last extra or injured player goes arm-numb from shooting. Teammates like Luongo, who already has a nickname and his own ball cap to wear behind the bench. And if he needs any help operating...

Cam Gore: Niemi shuts out Chicago

The Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks renewed their rivalry tonight at the Shark Tank and if not for the crowd pleasing play of Antti Niemi and a power play goal from Jason Demers Chicago would have walked away with two points. The first period was all Chicago outshooting the home team 10-5. Niemi stopped all ten shots he faced. What really impressed was the heroic saves made stopping...

Post Game Recap: Sharks v Hawks, the battle of boredom

This game was billed as a huge one. A big test for the Sharks. Could Antti Niemi once again show up his old team, proving once more that letting him walk was questionable at best? Could the Sharks continue their win streak? Would Chicago skate circles around the Sharks D? Would both coaches exploded into a pile of angry gelatinous rage at some point? Would Quenneville quit mid game...

Adrian Dater: Pine time has Luongo feeling philosophical

Despite dubbing himself ready to play Wednesday, Roberto Luongo continues to ride the bench. It's front-page news in Vancouver and a hot topic across the NHL, says Adrian Dater.

State Of The Canucks – Weekly Notebook | November 24

Our man Kevin V. has his pulse on the Vancouver sports beat. He’s back with another edition of the Vancouver Canucks Notebook. Head Coach Alain Vigneault got his 247th career victory as the Canucks’ bench boss this week. Roberto Luongo is ready to return from an apparent groin injury, and we also provide information on the Canucks Family Ticket packages.

Antti Niemi, Sharks shut out Blackhawks

SAN JOSE - Every time he takes the ice against the Chicago Blackhawks, goalie Antti Niemi seems determined to convince...

Recap: San Jose vs. Vancouver

Roberto Luongo made 43 saves as the Vancouver Canucks held on to take a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

NHL results, Nov. 23

Antti Niemi made 34 saves against his former team for his first shutout of the season, and Jason Demers broke a scoreless tie late in the second period with his first goal to lead the Sharks to a 1-0 victory over the...

Canucks vs. Sharks Betting Odds & Handicapping Preview | Nov. 26

Free NHL Betting Odds & Picks on the Vancouver Canucks vs. San Jose Sharks Saturday matchup. The Coyotes are -139 home favorites. The over/under is set at 5.5. Vancouver won three of four regular-season meetings between the clubs last season. Cory Schneider has two straight shutouts and will likely start again for the injured Roberto Luongo.

Morning Skate: November 24

The Morning After:Yesterday’s results:Bruins 4, Sabres 3 (SO)Devils 2, Blue Jackets 1 (SO)Flyers 4, Islanders 3 (OT)Blues 3, Penguins 2 (OT)Capitals 4, Jets 3 (OT)Canadiens 4, Hurricanes 3 (SO)Red Wings 5, Flames 3Panthers 2, Rangers 1Wild 3, Predators 2Stars 3, Kings 2 (OT)Coyotes 4, Ducks 2Canucks 3, Avalanche 0Sharks 1, Blackhawks 0Predictions record: 8-5RLD 3 stars of the night...
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