Blue Jackets look for much-needed win vs. Canucks
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.