BLUE JACKETS (8-11-3) at CANUCKS (11-8-4)
TV: FS-O, SNET-P
Last 10: Columbus 3-4-3; Vancouver 3-4-3
Season series: This is the second and final meeting between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Vancouver Canucks. Curtis McElhinney made 37 saves in the Blue Jackets' 3-1 win at Nationwide Arena on Oct. 20.
Big story: The Canucks are looking for some offense, having scored six goals during a five-game losing streak that represents their longest stretch without a victory since an eight-game skid in January 2009.
Blue Jackets: One night after a dismal performance in a 7-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, Columbus rebounded with a 2-1 overtime win against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. Nikita Nikitin's first goal of the season was the game-winner.
"The great thing about sports is you always get a chance to prove yourself. Coming off [Tuesday] night, sometimes as a coach you're not sure what you're going to get. I'm real happy the way the guys stepped up tonight," coach Todd Richards said.
Columbus is 2-1-0 on a five-game Canadian road trip that ends Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Canucks: Vancouver begins the second half of a six-game homestand looking for its first win after losses to the San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers. The Canucks were outplayed in the first period of their 3-2 shootout loss to the Panthers on Tuesday and it cost them, according to coach John Tortorella.
"It was easily our worst game of the year. We didn't deserve a point. I just don't know what we're thinking as far as how we started the game," Tortorella said. "If it isn't for [Roberto Luongo], we are down, 3-0, 4-0. I can't explain it."
Luongo allowed the lone shootout goal to Jonathan Huberdeau on the Panthers' first attempt. The Canucks are now 1-3 in the tiebreaker this season.
"I gotta make a save on the first one there. I knew that was one of his moves and I ended up biting anyway, so I've got to do better than that," Luongo said
Who's hot: RJ Umberger has recorded a point in three of the past four games (two goals, one assist) for the Blue Jackets. … Luongo is 0-1-2 during the homestand but has allowed two goals in each game and posted a .933 save percentage.
Injury report: Already without the services of five players on injured reserve -- Nathan Horton (shoulder), Cody Bass (thumb), Matt Calvert (abdomen), Marian Gaborik (knee) and Dalton Prout (back) -- the Blue Jackets will be without their second-leading scorer, Brandon Dubinsky, who injured his foot in Tuesday's loss. … Forwards Jordan Schroeder (ankle) and Dale Weise (lower body) are on IR for the Canucks.
|Back to top|