By Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER – Even though it stings, defenceman Luca Sbisa says the Vancouver Canucks must move past Thursday night’s embarrassing home performance.
A rested Vancouver squad dropped a disheartening 4-1 decision to a Colorado Avalanche club playing its second game in as many nights. Even more troubling was the Canucks’ complete lack of urgency in a contest that could have widened the gap in the Western Conference playoff picture.
“It’s not an easy one to put behind us because it was not good enough,” Sbisa said afterwards. “I don’t think we can think about it too much. We know that wasn’t us, so just get back to what we do best and play our game.”
As a result, the Canucks enter the weekend two points up on the Los Angeles Kings for second in the Pacific Division. They’re also just three points ahead of the Calgary Flames, who sit ninth in the West and have played one more game.
“We’re in the race here,” said Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin. “We have to be ready and come back for the next game (and) put this one in the garbage can.
“There’s nothing else you can do. We know we can play a lot better than this.”
Vancouver didn’t practise Friday, but will have to dust themselves off when the host the Dallas Stars on Saturday.
The Canucks â€” who begin a tough four-game road trip Monday in St. Louis â€” have lost six straight and seven of their last eight against the Stars dating back to the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign. Dallas also comes in having won seven of nine overall, but remains eight points back of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.
“We have to be ready,” said Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins. “Dallas is a real, real quick team and they play hard. They’re a real tough team to handle.
“We know what’s going to come. We just have to make sure we’re ready to match it.”
Vancouver’s last win over Dallas was a 4-3 road decision Feb. 23, 2013. It’s been even longer since the Canucks beat the Stars at Rogers Arena, that being a 5-2 victory that came almost three years ago.
The Stars will be playing on consecutive nights after falling to the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, but as the Avalanche showed that doesn’t always dictate a team’s energy level.
“We’ve played so many teams on the back to back,” said Canucks defenceman Yannick Weber. “They all come hard.”
A bright spot Thursday was Vancouver’s much-maligned power play connecting for the fourth time in as many games. Scoring with the man advantage Saturday could be critical for a Canucks team that’s been outscored 20-6 by the Stars over their last five meetings.
Part of the recent success with the power play can be attributed to Weber, who has been elevated to the top unit and has three goals and two assists over the last four games.
“I got some minutes against some top lines and I was able to kind of show the coaches that they can use me with a lot minutes. I’ve been rolling with it,” said Weber, who scored against Colorado. “I just have a lot of confidence in my game defensively and offensively. I just try to keep it going.”
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