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Canucks Report: Game Day vs Blue Jackets

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks
March 2, 2010

Demitra

DEMO MOVES TO SECOND LINE

After a stellar performance in the 2010 Winter Games, Canuck forward Pavol Demitra will skate in the second line with Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond when the Canucks face the Columbus Blue Jackets today.

Even though Demitra did not lead Team Slovakia to the gold, he was the leading scorer for the Olympics with 10 points (3-7-10). His spot in the second line puts Mikael Samuelsson in the third line with Tanner Glass and Kyle Wellwood.

Roberto Luongo will get a break tonight leaving Andrew Raycroft to start in net.

Recently recalled Nolan Baumgartner will dress tonight and skate with Aaron Rome. Healthy scratches for tonight's game are forwards Rick Rypien, Jannik Hansen, and defenceman Brad Lukowich.

GAME DAY NOTES

The Canucks get back into action tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets after a two week Olympic break. It will be the fourth and final time these two teams meet this season, and the first of six consecutive road games for the Canucks.

The Canucks final game before the 2010 Winter Games was a 6-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on February 14. They have had better luck against the Blue Jackets winning two out of the three games, including an impressive 7-3 victory on January 5 when Alex Burrows (26-25-51) recorded his first hat trick of the season.

Andrew Raycroft will start in net tonight for the Canucks, making it his tenth start of the season. His last start was against the Blue Jackets on February 12 where he helped the team earn a 4-3 victory, and also achieved his 100th career win.

The Blue Jackets’ last game before the break was a 5-4 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. They are last in the central division and fourteenth in the Western conference with 60 points. Last season they came in seventh place just making the playoffs but lost in the first round to the Detroit Red Wings.

Even though the Blue Jackets (25-28-10) are 11 spots lower than the Canucks (37-22-2) in the Western standings, the Canucks do not underestimate this team. Last season the Canucks lost three out of the four games against the Blue Jackets.

The Canucks need to watch out for Columbus forward and Canadian Olympian Rick Nash, who is the leading scorer for Columbus with 57 points (28-29-57) and is currently on a seven game points streak.

The Canucks hope to excel tonight as the season gets closer to the playoffs. Another two points would create some breathing room from the Colorado Avalanche (35-21-6) who also have 76 points and are fighting for the Northwest Division.

D-DAY JUST 24 HOURS AWAY

It's game day and it's the biggest day in the NHL regular season. The Canucks are in Detroit to face off against the Red Wings but with the trade deadline at noon, there's more than just a game on the line Wednesday.

If it's got to do with the Canucks, we will have it so don't miss a minute of the day. Get expert opinions from the Canucks.com crew and share your thoughts on all the moves throughout the day on the live blog beginning at 7:00am. Don't miss out!

Look for post-deadline coverage and analysis on Canucks.com following all the frenzy.

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