Canucks-Blue Jackets Preview
The Columbus Blue Jackets’ lone six-game win streak came seven
It’s been nearly that long since Roberto Luongo won at
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
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
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
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,
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
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,”