Given each team's recent success, it's likely not surprising that the Detroit Red Wings and Vancouver Canucks have played some competitive games over the past few seasons.
The first matchup at Rogers Arena this season figures to provide more of the same Wednesday night with both teams among the hottest in the league.
The Red Wings (21-10-1) and Canucks (20-11-2) have combined to appear in three of the last four Stanley Cup finals, and most of their recent games have carried some playoff-like tension.
Fourteen of the past 20 have been decided by one goal or a shootout with five ending in overtime. Detroit prevailed 2-1 in a shootout during its previous visit to Vancouver on Jan. 8, as Jiri Hudler beat Roberto Luongo in the extra session and Jimmy Howard stopped all three attempts.
Howard beat the Canucks again Oct. 13 at Joe Louis Arena by making 25 saves in a 2-0 win. With his help, the Red Wings have won 16 of 21 since an early six-game skid and five of their last six.