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Canucks look to continue dominance of Central Division clubs

Nov 19, 2006 - 3:37 PM Chicago (7-9-2) at Vancouver (9-10-1) 10:00 pm EST

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) - The Vancouver Canucks have feasted on Central Division teams this season and they look to continue their dominance when they host the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

The Canucks are 6-2-0 against Central Division clubs this season but are only 1-8-1 against the rest of the Western Conference.

Vancouver defeated another Central club, the St. Louis Blues, 4-2 on Friday. Markus Naslund's two goals lifted Vancouver, which outshot the Blues, 44-21, en route to only its second win in its last eight games.

After enduring seven consecutive losses, Chicago is 3-0-2 in its last five games. The Blackhawks defeated Western Conference leader Anaheim, 4-3, on Friday.

Tuomo Ruutu was the hero for the Blackhawks, scoring a goal with 9:21 left in the third period to tie the game, 3-3, before scoring the only goal of the shootout.

Nikolai Khabibulin, making his first start since suffering a broken finger on October 21, finished with 42 saves. Khabibulin, who missed 10 games with the injury, is 5-2-0 with a 3.27 goals-against average.

The Canucks defeated the Blackhawks, 5-0, in the only previous meeting this season on October 25 in Chicago.

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