Canucks-Blue Jackets Preview

The Vancouver Canucks weren’t affected too much by the NHL’s
realignment, but they should be disappointed to see the Columbus
Blue Jackets out of the Western Conference.

The Canucks have earned at least a point in 14 straight games
against the Blue Jackets, a streak they’ll look to extend Sunday as
they continue their seven-game road trip in Columbus.

They’re 12-0-2 against the Blue Jackets since Jan. 5, 2010,
winning eight of those by one goal while holding Columbus scoreless
on 44 of 46 (95.7 percent) power-play opportunities.

Saturday’s 4-3 shootout loss to Pittsburgh denied the Canucks
(5-3-1) a third straight win to start their trip. Vancouver took a
3-2 third-period lead on Zack Kassian’s tip-in at 12:50, but gave
up the tying goal 22 seconds later.

Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury stopped Mike Santorelli,
Alexander Edler and Ryan Kesler in the Canucks’ first shootout of
the season. Evgeni Malkin beat Roberto Luongo in the third round to
give Pittsburgh the win.

“I thought we carried most of the play,” Luongo said. “We
forechecked well, we turned pucks over. Obviously, they’re a good
team and we held our own. It was good.”

The Canucks gave up a power-play goal for just the third time
this season and outshot Pittsburgh 39-28.

”I thought we played well,” coach John Tortorella said. ”I
thought we controlled a lot of the game, I thought we did a really
good job in the neutral zone as far as creating turnovers, and I
thought we played quick.”

The Blue Jackets (2-5-0) have dropped four straight after
Saturday’s 4-1 loss at Washington. The Capitals went 2 for 4 on the
power play and built a 4-0 lead early in the third before Artem
Anisimov scored for the Blue Jackets to spoil Braden Holtby’s
shutout.

“We unraveled,” Columbus coach Todd Richards said. “I think even
after those first two goals, we started to go after them, but we
weren’t good enough. We got what we deserved. I think the chances
were there.”

The Jackets managed a season-high 38 shots but have been held to
one goal in three of their last four. They went 0 for 3 with the
man advantage, just the second time in seven games they’ve gone
scoreless on the power play.

Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 35 shots
but has allowed four goals in consecutive games for the first time
since his last two starts of 2011-12.

He kept the game scoreless with 14 first-period saves, but it
was the first goal of the third period that Columbus saw as the
back-breaker. Troy Brouwer scored off of a Blue Jackets giveaway in
front of Bobrovsky.

“They got that third (goal) and it just cracked us, I guess,”
forward RJ Umberger said. “We turned the puck over. They
capitalized on their chances tonight and we didn’t.”

Bobrovsky is 1-0-2 with a 0.62 goals-against average in three
starts against the Canucks, while Luongo is 4-0-1 with a 1.51 GAA
in his last five against Columbus.

The Blue Jackets last lost five straight in regulation from Dec.
15-26, 2011.