|Hot Canucks aim to end long losing streak against Devils|
The Vancouver Canucks will have to overcome a 57-month drought to extend their current four-game winning streak when they visit the New Jersey Devils on Saturday afternoon in Newark, N.J.
The Canucks notched a 4-3 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday for their fourth straight victory. It is Vancouver's longest streak in a single season since the team won six consecutive games from Dec. 28, 2016, to Jan. 6, 2017.
"That's what we want to do here, we want to win," said captain Bo Horvat, whose third-period goal against St. Louis was his first marker of the season.
"It's feeling good right now, guys are confident, but at the same time it should push us to want to win more. I think we have that type of group in here that hates losing. We're playing some good hockey right now, we've got to continue."
To get that fifth straight win, Vancouver will have to snap its longest ongoing losing streak against a single opponent. The Canucks are winless in their past nine (0-6-3) games against New Jersey, and haven't beaten the Devils since Nov. 25, 2014.
Should the Devils win on Saturday, their 10-game domination of the Canucks would tie the second-longest win streak against an opponent in New Jersey's franchise history.
The Devils also are going for their first win streak of the 2019-20 season. New Jersey finally notched its first victory, a 5-2 result over the New York Rangers on Thursday.
"We needed that to get our confidence back, some swagger back, and be ready to go for this Vancouver game," rookie center Jack Hughes said. "That win, especially coming against the Rangers, it's really good timing."
Thursday marked a milestone for Hughes, who picked up an assist on the game-winning goal to earn his first career NHL point.
Saturday will be a notable occasion for the Hughes family. Jack will his older brother, Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes, for the first time in an NHL game.
Hughes played alongside Kyle Palmieri and Taylor Hall on New Jersey's top line Thursday, as Nico Hischier was unavailable due to an upper-body injury. Hischier, whose status for Saturday isn't yet known, signed a seven-year, $50.75 million contract extension on Friday.
Palmieri's power play goal against the Rangers on Thursday was the Devils' first goal of the season with the extra attacker. New Jersey was on an 0-for-21 power play slump before Palmieri's breakthrough score.
Mackenzie Blackwood made 29 saves in the Devils' win over the Rangers, including seven saves during six unsuccessful New York power plays. This performance could earn Blackwood another start on Saturday, as he and Cory Schneider continue to battle for playing time in net.
Thatcher Demko saved 34 of 37 shots against the Blues to earn his second consecutive victory. The Canucks could opt to start the hot Demko again against New Jersey and save returning starter Jacob Markstrom for Sunday's game against the Rangers. Markstrom missed Vancouver's past two games due to a family emergency.
Canucks forward Elias Pettersson is riding a four-game points streak (two goals, four assists).
--Field Level Media