Blue Jackets-Canucks Preview
John Tortorella wasn't happy about seeing his Vancouver Canucks lose to one of the NHL's worst teams the last time they took the ice.
The fiery coach seems to have made line changes as the Canucks face another such opponent and look to end a five-game slide Friday night against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets.
Vancouver (11-8-4) fell 3-2 in a shootout to Florida on Tuesday, and its 0-3-2 slide is its longest since an 0-5-3 skid Jan. 9-31, 2009. Tortorella wasn't happy afterward.
''It's lack of respect and we have no business (showing) a lack of respect to any hockey team,'' he said. ''In the situation we're in going into tonight's game, I just don't know what we're thinking as far as how we started the game.
''I can't explain it.''
Tortorella may employ some changes seen at Thursday's practice to try to jump-start an offense that has produced six goals during this slide. The new top line had Henrik Sedin along with Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen, while Mike Santorelli was centering a group with Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler.
Henrik Sedin has two points in his last six games while Daniel has none in that span. Tortorella also held a team meeting Thursday.
"We'll learn from the last game," the coach told the Canucks' official Twitter account. "We'll learn our lesson."
It may be easy to get back on track against the Blue Jackets (8-11-3), as the Canucks have won the last six home meetings.
Columbus improved to 2-1-0 on this five-game Canadian trip with Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Calgary as defenseman Nikita Nikitin scored in overtime. The Blue Jackets suffered a humiliating 7-0 loss to Edmonton the night before.
''As a coach, you go in and challenge your group,'' coach Todd Richards said. ''There were some questions I had coming out of the Edmonton game. To me, they responded the right way.''
Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves after he was pulled against the Oilers.
''To have a chance to play right away, to reset, it's good,'' Bobrovsky said. ''You don't think about the game before. It was a bad game. You have a chance to win and you get that good feeling again.''
Neither Bobrovsky nor Roberto Luongo started that game, and those goalies figure to get the nod Friday.
Bobrovsky posted a 0.62 goals-against average while starting all three meetings against Vancouver last season, with each going past regulation. Luongo is 6-1-3 with a 2.15 GAA in 10 home starts with the Canucks against the Blue Jackets.
Columbus, playing without injured stars Marian Gaborik and Nathan Horton, expects to see one player return Friday. Forward Matt Calvert could play for the first time after missing 19 games with an abdominal injury.
The Blue Jackets are 1 for 35 on the power play in the last 11 meetings, while the Canucks have the league's best penalty kill at 88.2 percent.