Preview: Wild @ Canucks 19 Dec 11

THE STORY: Rookie coach Mike Yeo is hoping his Minnesota Wild can keep hold of the top spot in the Northwest Division by the time they return from their three-game road trip that begins Monday against the Canucks in Vancouver.Minnesota, which leads Vancouver in the Northwest by five points, has dropped three straight contests (0-1-2) following a seven-game winning streak. The Wild have won seven of eight on the road and 17 of 24 overall but have lost each of their last eight visits to Rogers Arena. Vancouver is beginning a four-game homestand following a 3-1-1 road trip. It has won four of five in its own building, including its last two in which it has outscored its opponents 11-1. The Canucks are 5-1-1 in their last seven games overall and have won 10 of 13.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), Rogers Sportsnet Pacific (Vancouver)

ABOUT THE WILD (20-8-5): Minnesota has not posted a victory in Vancouver since Jan. 31, 2009, going 0-6-2 since. With a number of forwards out of their lineup, the Wild recalled Jed Ortmeyer and Chad Rau from Houston of theAmerican Hockey League on Sunday. The pair would raise Minnesota’s season total of players to appear in a game to a league-high 35 should they suit up Monday. Rau, who hails from Eden Prairie, would become the 11th rookie to play for the Wild this campaign – also tops in the NHL, as well as a franchise record – and the sixth Minnesota native.

ABOUT THE CANUCKS (19-11-2): Roberto Luongo has posted a 5-0-1 record over his last six starts. He has been just mediocre against the Wild over his career, however, going 14-14-5 with an .896 save percentage in 33 meetings. Daniel Sedin has registered seven goals and 10 points in his last eight contests while twin brother Henrik has notched 12 points – all assists – in the same span. Mason Raymond has recorded three goals and three assists in seven games since returning from the back injury he suffered against the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals.

OVERTIME:

1. The home team has dominated the all-time series of late, winning each of the last four meetings, nine of 10 and 13 of 16.

2. Vancouver has won four of the last five meetings between the division rivals.

PREDICTION:

Canucks 3, Wild 0.