Canucks continue 7-game road trip in New Jersey
Vancouver looks to halt 2-game skid
Ryan Miller probably awoke Sunday morning in New Jersey in a better mood after sending his teammates a message less than 24 hours earlier.
The Vancouver Canucks goaltender aired his frustration to reporters following Saturday's 3-2 loss in Buffalo, the opener of a seven-game road trip that continues against the Devils at 5 p.m. ET.
All three Sabres goals were the result of poor coverage and turnovers by Canucks players.
On the first goal, defenceman Ben Hutton missed his check on Jamie McGinn's goal and on the second, veteran Vancouver rearguard Dan Hamhuis failed to tie up an opponent and remove him from the crease, screening Miller on Rasmus Ristolainen's power-play goal for a 2-0 Buffalo lead midway through the second period.
In the third, Canucks winger Daniel Sedin's turnover in the final minute of regulation turned into Ristolainen's winning goal with 16.8 seconds left on the clock.
It's been the script for our third periods and at some point we've got to take issue with it. We've talked about it but it's becoming a bigger issue.- Canucks goalie Ryan Miller on the team's coverage problems and turnovers
"We've got to have better awareness," Miller told reporters. "I don't think a D-man [Ristolainen] can be in the slot … and then get contested by your D-man in the last minute. It's a pretty critical error.
"We tried to back check and I don't want to fault them, but we had two and maybe three guys looking at the puck.
"It's been the script for our third periods and at some point we've got to take issue with it. We've talked about it but it's becoming a bigger issue. Maybe that one will be a wake-up call."
The 6-4-4 Canucks, who have dropped two in a row, will look to bounce back in New Jersey after failing for the first time this season to earn at least one point on the road, where they are 4-1-1.
Captain Henrik Sedin is riding a five-game point streak after scoring his first goal in seven contests on Saturday.
The 7-5-1 Devils continue their three-game homestand that began Friday with a 4-2 triumph over reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago.
It was the third win in four home games for New Jersey, which has scored four goals in four of its last seven overall contests.
Former Canucks goalie Cory Schneider, whom Vancouver traded to the Devils at the 2013 NHL draft for the ninth overall pick (forward Bo Horvat), could be watching his former team from the bench Sunday after making 10 consecutive starts (7-2-1).
If Keith Kinkaid gets the call, it would be his third start of the season and first since falling to Nashville on Oct. 13.
Devils forward Jiri Tlusty returned to action Friday after missing two games with a shoulder injury, recording two shots and a plus-1 rating in 14:46 of ice time.
Vancouver and New Jersey split their two meetings last season, with each club winning at home.
- Devils right-winger Kyle Palmieri has notched eight of his 10 points this season over his last seven contests.
- Vancouver is 0-for-7 on the power play over its last three games.
- New Jersey centre Travis Zajac has recorded at least one point in six of his last eight contests after beginning the season with a four-game drought.
With files from SportsDirect Inc.