VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- Who said there are no big NHL games in November? With one fan holding a sign that read "REVENGE," the Vancouver Canucks made an early season statement, extending the longest winning streak in the league to six games with a surprisingly easy 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
In the first meeting between the teams since last season's Western Conference quarterfinals, Vancouver built a 4-0 lead in the first 29 minutes and got within a win of the longest streak in team history.
The Canucks won a franchise-record seven straight in February 1989. That also was the last time they swept a five-game homestand, which they matched Friday.
"We're starting to do a lot of things better," said Todd Bertuzzi, whose team is 11-5-4 for 26 points, five behind Dallas for the best total in the league. "And we'll try to ride the momentum on this road trip."
On Monday, Vancouver starts a six-game, 10-day road trip, which begins in Minnesota and ends in New Jersey.
Like the Canucks, the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings began the night with a five-game winning streak. They also had dropped just one of the previous 21 regular-season meetings with Vancouver (1-15-4-1).
Detroit also knocked Vancouver out of last season's playoffs, even after dropping the first two games at home. The Red Wings reeled off four straight wins to spark their title run.
"There was significance to the game," Canucks coach Marc Crawford said. "You could sense the energy in the city and the respect factor that the defending Stanley Cup champions bring and add to the game."
It was an important game for Cloutier, who allowed a goal from center ice in Game Three of last season's playoff series that gave the momentum to the Red Wings.
"Dan's a tough kid and he can deal with adversity," said Bertuzzi, who had a goal and an assist. "That's how he's got us to this point. We wouldn't have this many wins if it wasn't for him."
They may not have had this win if it wasn't for Cloutier, who made a save on Tomas Holmstrom's point-blank one-timer from just below the right hashmark to keep the game scoreless 2 1/2 minutes into the first period.
The Canucks scored on the ensuing rush as Matt Cooke streaked down the left side and put a rebound off a sliding defenseman and over goaltender Curtis Joseph.
"You need big saves to be a good team, and he's providing that," Crawford said. "He was very sharp tonight."
Detroit took four of the five minor penalties in the first period and Vancouver capitalized with four seconds left on its third power play as Naslund scored his NHL-best 13th goal to make it 2-0 with 3:28 to go before intermission.
"We can't expect to win games when we play like that," said Brett Hull, who scored Detroit's goal with 10:34 to play. "They got up on us early and we were never in it. We got into some penalty trouble and they took advantage of our mistakes."
It was more of the same in the second period. Trent Klatt beat Joseph with a snap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle off a 2-on-1 for a 3-0 lead at 5:57 and Bertuzzi scored on a breakaway 3:04 later to make it 4-0.
"Everytime we step onto the ice, we feel we should win," Detroit right wing Darren McCarty said. "But when you give up odd-man rushes and so many opportunities, they'll capitalize. They have some very talented players and we can't let them have those kinds of chances."
"We're feeling good about ourselves," said Naslund, the Canucks' captain. "That was a great team game. We took control of the game right from the start."
With the game approaching the midway point of the third period and the Canucks holding a commanding 4-0 lead, the crowd of 18,422 at GM Place began an unkind chant of "Red Wings (stink)."
They did for most of the game as they fell to 2-1-0 on a four-game road trip. Hull beat Cloutier on a power play with a blistering one-timer from the top of the right circle, but Detroit looked otherwise uninspired.
"Maybe they were fired up to play us," said Hull, who scored his fifth goal. "But we should want every game just as bad."
The Canucks showed plenty of life. Cloutier even punched Sergei Fedorov a few times after the Red Wings star fell on him in the crease with 7:10 left in the second period.
"It feels really good," Cloutier said. "We're playing well at home and we got a win obviously against one of the best teams in the league."