Canucks-Blue Jackets Preview

The Columbus Blue Jackets’ lone six-game win streak came seven

seasons ago.

It’s been nearly that long since Roberto Luongo won at

Columbus.

The surging Blue Jackets can match the franchise’s longest run

Tuesday night and hand the visiting Vancouver Canucks a fifth

straight defeat, with Luongo set to make his first start in over a

week.

Columbus (10-12-4) swept a weekend home-and-home series with

Detroit, winning 3-0 at home Saturday and 3-2 in a road shootout

Sunday. The Blue Jackets’ 12 points during a 5-0-2 surge match

their point total from their first 19 games.

“Guys are working really hard,” coach Todd Richards said. “They

earned all the points that we’ve gotten over the past six, seven

games or whatever it is.”

Columbus last won six straight March 24-April 3, 2006.

Vancouver (11-7-6) enters on an 0-2-2 slide and has not dropped

five straight since an 0-5-3 stretch Jan. 9-31, 2009. The Canucks

have scored two or fewer goals in every contest of this skid,

falling 4-2 at Minnesota on Sunday.

“It’s tough right now, we’re being tested and that’s why we need

each and every guy in here to pull along,” winger Daniel Sedin

said.

Cory Schneider has started four of the Canucks’ last five visits

to Columbus, including a 2-1 overtime defeat Thursday. Schneider

has also started Vancouver’s last three games and five of the past

six.

Coach Alain Vigneault has opted to go to Luongo, who has been on

the trading block. Luongo, who hasn’t played since March 3 at

Calgary, is 0-3-1 with a 2.49 goals-against average in his last

four starts at Nationwide Arena since his lone win there Oct. 6,

2006.

The Blue Jackets are more than pleased with Sergei Bobrovsky,

who is 4-0-0 with a 0.81 GAA over his last five games. He was

outstanding in his first career start against the Canucks last week

with 34 saves as Matt Calvert scored the winning goal.

Calvert and Ryan Johansen came through in Sunday’s shootout for

Columbus, which won despite being outshot 23-21.

“I like the way we competed for 60 minutes,” Richards said. “We

weren’t perfect but played hard, we were opportunistic, scored a

couple goals, got into the shootout and then it was lights out in

the shootout.”

Saturday’s victory was the lone contest of the Blue Jackets’

last seven not to go past regulation.

The close games have been going the other way lately for

Vancouver, with every loss in this slide by two goals or fewer. The

Canucks were 0 for 4 on the power play against the Wild, dropping

to 0 for 20 over their last eight games.

“We didn’t generate much again and we’re going to have to find

solutions,” Vigneault said.

It could be hard to get untracked against the Blue Jackets, who

have killed off 26 of 27 penalties. The exception was Johan

Franzen’s goal Sunday on a 5-on-3.

Henrik Sedin has nine points during a seven-game run, but the

Canucks are 1-4-2 in that span.

“We have to be better than what we’re showing right now,”

Vigneault said.